Nigerian-heritage British actor David Oyelowo is starring in Netflix’s post-apocalyptic sci-fi film The Midnight Sky alongside Hollywood star George Clooney and Felicity Jones.
The film is based on the 2016 novel Good Morning Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton and follows a scientist who attempts to save humanity by venturing into the arctic circle to warn a returning spaceship of the global catastrophe that happened in their absence.
Oyelowo plays spaceship officer Commander Adewole, a character whose name was changed from the novel, where he was called Harper, at Oyelowo’s suggestion.
According to the actor, he proposed the change on set to Clooney, who also directed the film, in order to adequately reflect his own roots.
He said: “I have almost never seen a black person being the head of astronauts in a movie and I had most definitely never seen a person of African descent, who is of Nigerian descent. So I went to George Clooney and I said, ‘Look, my name is Commander Harper, I am one of five people tasked with saving the world. I think one of these people should be very clearly an African,’ and he agreed.
“The character’s Yoruba name, meaning ‘the king has entered the room,’ was quite symbolic. It was a little wink to us Nigerians to say we have arrived.”