Actor David Oyelowo played the role of Steven Jacobs in the 2011 movie Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Oyelowo was born in Oxford, UK, of Nigerian descent. He studied Theatre Studies for A level and enrolled for a year on an Art foundation course before being offered a scholarship at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). He had begun his stage career in 1999 when he was offered a season with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) playing roles in Ben Jonson's Volpone, as the title character in Oroonoko (which he also performed in a BBC radio adaptation) and Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra (1999). In December 2000 David became the first black actor to play an English monarch for the RSC taking the title role in Henry VI. In 2005 he appeared in a production of Prometheus Bound, which was revived in New York in 2007. In 2006, he made his directorial debut on a production of The White Devil, produced by his own theatre company in Brighton, 'Inservice'.
Oyelowo became known to television audiences as MI5 officer Danny Hunter in the TV series Spooks (2002-04) and dramas Maisie Raine (1998), Brothers and Sisters (1998), Tomorrow La Scala! (2002), As Time Goes By (2005), Born Equal (2006), Mayo (2006), Shoot the Messenger (2006), the Golden Globe nominated Five Days (2007, for which he won a 2007 Satellite Best Actor Award), The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (2008), TV movie Sweet Nothing in My Ear (2008), The Passion (2008), the BBC TV adaptation of Andrea Levy's novel Small Island (2009) and BBC drama series Blood and Oil (2010). On radio, he appeared as Olaudah Equiano in Grace Unshackled – The Olaudah Equiano Story (2007), and voiced an audiobook of John le Carré's The Mission Song (2007). He appeared in the 2005 movie A Sound of Thunder, Derailed (2005, made by Clive Owen and Jennifer Aniston), Kenneth Branagh's As You Like It, The Last King of Scotland (2006) and as Muddy Waters in the 2008 film Chess. He will star in the upcoming sci-fi flick Rise of the Planet of the Apes and has been confirmed to play civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. in Lee Daniels' upcoming film Selma.