Oprah Winfrey and Michael B. Jordan say OWN series 'David Makes Man' was the 'best pitch' they ever heard
At the premiere of OWN's 'David Makes Man', the producers spoke to MEA World Wide about the poignant and soul-stirring one-hour lyrical drama
Centered around a 14-year-old prodigy, 'David Makes Man' follows the life of the young boy David who needs to rise above the gang-infested streets of his poor neighborhood so he has a bright future. The one-hour lyrical drama has been directed by Academy Award winner Tarell Alvin McCraney ('Moonlight') as his first TV project. At the premiere of OWN's 'David Makes Man', producers Oprah Winfrey and Michael B. Jordan spoke to MEA World Wide about the poignant and soul-stirring series.
Oprah accidentally stumbled upon the story pitch meeting to her production house and called it the "best pitch" she had ever heard. When Jordan was asked how the entire episode unfolded, he said, "We had sent the pitch to OWN. However, Oprah had another meeting that she was supposed to attend. But by the time we went in there, she left her meeting and came to listen to the pitch. By the end of it, we were all in tears. Plus, Tarell did a phenomenal job in narrating the story. It was a pitch that I don't think anyone in that room is ever going to forget."
Set in South Florida, the series is inspired by events in McCraney's own life and explores childhood trauma and the power of imagination to survive.
What's the most important aspect of the show that is nowhere else on television? Spelling out the theme of the series, Oprah said, "It is about entering the lives of Black boys, to see how they think and how they interact with each other. In many ways, they have their own language, their own spiritual ways of communicating with each other."
In the show, David (Akili McDowell) is an instinct-driven, passionate teenager, who toggles between two distinct personas. Dependent on his mother to help him get out of his world of chaos. Meanwhile, Alana Arenas plays David's hard-working single mother Gloria. A former drug addict, she strives to pave way for a better future for her kids.
Talking about Gloria's character, Oprah added, "It's one thing to talk about the strength, power and grace of Black mothers but I think the character Gloria represents that in such a healthy and profound way." The actress, talk show host and television producer feels the show brings "real life" on screen. "I love everything about it because it's real life." "At times, it's gritty — grittier than what I thought. I mean, it has a baby, a nine-year-old cursing," she added, shedding light on the dark, harrowing experiences of the young boy in the series.
Watch Oprah Winfrey, Michael B. Jordan, and the other cast members in an exclusive interview with MEA World Wide here.
The coming-of-age drama television series is all set to premiere on August 14, 2019, on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).