David Oyelowo explains what made him “lean in[to]” his new fantasy drama, ‘Come Away’

David Oyelowo says he had plenty of good reasons to serve as both producer and star in his new fantasy drama, Come Away.

In the film, which offers an origin story for two children’s classics — Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan — Oyelowo plays Jack, a father of three very imaginative children. He tells ABC Audio that one of the reasons he jumped on the project was to help create a non-conventional take on the two beloved stories.

“I think that was one of the main things, the creativity of bringing the worlds of Alice from Alice in Wonderland and Peter from Peter Pan into the same story,” he says. “Having them as brother and sister and doing it so seamlessly, almost to the point where I find myself thinking, ‘Is this the actual origin story of these two characters?"”

Written by Marissa Kate Goodhill, Come Away takes viewers on a wild adventure that veers between fantasy and reality. Although the film touches on important themes like classism, redemption and coping with grief, Oyelowo says the biggest draw for him was the film’s commitment to representation.

“The fact that I was being approached to play their father, which, of course means that both Alice and Peter are going to be kids of color, kids who look like my own kids who look like me,” he says of his decision to join the film.

“And that was an added layer of intrigue, interest, excitement, and something that just made me really want to lean in,” he adds. 

Come Away, also starring Angelina Jolie, is available on-demand Friday.

By Candice Williams
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