Brad Pitt’s philanthropic efforts have given him the reputation of someone who is always willing to lend a hand. At the Palm Springs International Film Festival gala Saturday night, that included a singing lesson for gala attendees who might struggle with the pronunciation of “David Oyelowo.”
Pitt was presenting the Breakthrough Performance Award to Oyelowo for his turn in Selma. Pitt acknowledged some may have problems with the star’s name.
“I know that there is one lingering question in the back of your minds and that question is, how the hell do you pronounce his name?… It’s ok, it’s alright, I’ve been there – and I’m here to help.”
Pitt first guided the audience to break it into pieces. He then started a chorus of the name: “Oh-Yellow-Oh…” When Oyelowo came onstage to accept his honor, he was grateful for Pitt’s extra effort.
“You know you’re breaking through when Brad Pitt sings your name.”
Pitt is a producer of Selma.Oyelowo stars as Martin Luther King, Jr., in the biopic directed by Ava DuVernay. Pitt said Oyelowo was a name that would “one day be synonymous with Poitier and Olivier.”
Oyelowo attended the gala with his wife Jessica, and three of their four children. The family posed for pictures on the red carpet.
You can see Brad Pitt give his singing lesson in the ITN video below.
Selma has been the subject of recent controversy about its historical accuracy, in particular its depiction of the relationship between King and then-president Lyndon B. Johnson. It is the first major film about King and has received four Golden Globe nominations, including one for DuVernay.
Lee Daniels was originally slated to direct Selma, but due to scheduling conflicts the job eventually went to DuVernay. Deadline reported that DuVernay re-wrote the script which caught the eye of Oprah Winfrey. Winfrey also became a producer after Brad Pitt had already signed on.
Brad Pitt has seen success as a producer. He won an Academy Award as a result of his producing role on 12 Years A Slave in 2014. His other producing credits include The Tree of Life, and the television movie The Normal Heart.
David Oyelowo is also nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance in Selma. The Golden Globes take place next weekend. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are tapped to host for the third year in a row.
[Brad Pitt Photo Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images via Page Six]