David Oyelowo is convinced his wife Jessica needed “no acting” to express her “disgust” at the actor’s onscreen love affair with Rosamund Pike in new film A United Kingdom.
In the biographical movie, the Selma star portrays Seretse Khama, a real-life prince from Botswana, who courts controversy after marrying a white British woman, played by Rosamund, in the late 1940s.
A United Kingdom had been a passion project of David’s for some time and as he was developing the film, he cast his wife, actress Jessica Oyelowo, as Lady Lilly Canning, the disapproving spouse of Jack Davenport‘s character Alistair Canning, the British government representative of Southern Africa, who firmly objected to the interracial relationship.
David admits his wife’s cold-hearted performance worked well for the film, but he suspects Jessica, who he also worked with in 2015’s Captive, didn’t have to dig too deep to react on camera to her man romancing another woman.
“In real life we’re very in love; in the film she plays a racist, and she does it a little too well for my liking!” he laughed during an interview on U.S. breakfast show Good Morning America.
Rosamund added, “She has to look at us in disgust as we hold hands (for the film),” prompting David to quip, “There was no acting!”
Meanwhile, Rosamund admits it didn’t take much for her to sign on to the project with her Jack Reacher co-star, because she was so deeply moved by images of Khama and his wife, Ruth Williams.
“David sent me some pictures of the real life couple and all he said was, ‘This is arguably the greatest love story of the 20th century’, and then he sent me photographs of Ruth Williams and Seretse Khama and I didn’t know who they were but I looked at these faces and I started to cry,” she recalled.
“I don’t know what it was, something touched me, which continued to touch me all through the making of this movie.”