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Oprah Winfrey can do anything.

Just ask the cast and crew of Selma.

As I told you yesterday, it took work (and some tuna fish) to convince the media mogul to not only produce but also appear in the civil rights drama. She plays Annie Lee Cooper, a real-life Alabama woman who became best known for punching Selma sheriff Jim Clark.

"You know what she's proud of, she did her own stunts!" director Ava DuVernary said.

David Oyelowo, who stars in the film as Martin Luther King Jr., cracked, "She's going to be in Salt 2."



Pretty impressive considering Winfrey was hesitant to play another woman who clocks someone as she had done in The Color Purple and Lee Daniels' The Butler.

But then she told Oyelowo, "If Tom Cruise gets to save the world every time, then I can be the lady who hits every time!"

In all seriousness, Oyelowo gives a career-changing performance. The movie not only received a five-minute standing ovation when it screened for the first time on Tuesday at the AFI Fest presented by Audi film festival, but it also quickly shot up on most Oscar nominations prediction lists.

Selma, David Oyelowo


"Most people know Dr. King by his "I Have a Dream" speech [but] they don't know what his conversational style of speech was like, we don't know that he changed the trash bag for his wife. We forget he was only 39 [when he was assassinated]," DuVernay said.

Oyelowo also explained how he "transformed" into MLK.

"We did what we needed to do with the weight gain, we shaved my hairline back, we did all that stuff, but the real work was in the work," he said. "You know, this movement was governed by a spiritual agent, he was called to this thing, sometimes reluctantly called to it and so a lot of the work I felt I had to do was about knowing the environment in which this man had to do this and what was his disposition, what happens when you're 28 days away from your family for this cause, what happens when you have gripped within civil rights organizations internally that are gnawing at you, what happens when you have guilt because you know your organization is dependent upon putting people in harm's way. All of those things go into the blender."