Listen Live
St Jude banner

Roland Martin, host of NewsOne Now talked with Carmen Ejogo about her role as Coretta Scott King in the Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic, Selma” during a recent press event.

Martin told Ejogo that people described Mrs. King as a “rose in a fisted glove.”

 “Oh, that’s perfect,” Ejogo replied. “I got to play Coretta in 1955, in a production called Boycott for HBO and I feel like in some ways as a couple they were still quite naive and they had just been thrust into the position of leadership and so there was something a little less guarded about her at that point in her life.”

“One of the challenges that I was excited by and one of the things that made me curious about playing this role again for the second time was the fact that the fisted glove started really emerge and become quite stiff around what was clearly a beautifully deep, bright woman that was living under that.”

Ejogo said two things helped her prepare to play the role of Mrs. King in Selma one was some raw footage that she and David Oyelowo discovered.

Oyelowo, a fellow Brit, stars in the movie as Martin Luther King, Jr.

Ejogo said the discovery of this footage was “fantastic” because it shows “Coretta right before the camera starts rolling on various interviews and its in those moments you really get to see who somebody really is.”

Her secondary, and probably most important, source of help as well as inspiration came from Coretta herself. Ejogo said she got to spend some time with Mrs. King not long before she passed away. Ejogo explained that Mrs. King “loved” her performance in Boycott and after spending some time with her, gained “another little insight” into who Mrs. King was.

Selma opens nationwide on January 9, 2015.

Read more of this story at