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Captive star David Oyelowo had to do a lot of preparation to take on the role of real life Atlanta courthouse shooter Brain Nichols, and a lot of it took place in the gym. The Selma actor told us he not only sat down with the families of the four victims  Nichols killed back in 2005, but also lifted a ton of weights to get a chiseled physique.

“Brain Nichols was an ex-footballer player and a big guy,” explained Oyelowo. “Look when you have a big guy who kills four people in a day that is inherently scary. I wanted that. I don’t look like that normally so it took a lot of gym time.”

And his wife loved the results. “I think she loved it a little too much,” laughed Oyelowo.

Oyelowo like the rest of the world was familiar with the story that made headlines 10 years ago, but was intrigued to play the role and produce the film to show the story the world didn’t see. Kate Mara plays Ashley Smith, the single mother and recovering meth addict, who Nichols held hostage for 7 hours after escaping the courthouse.

“The thing that the cameras couldn’t see were those 7 hours, what happened in that apartment that ended in a result that no one could have called. Why was Ashley Smith not his 5th victim,” said Oyelowo. “That’s the story the public doesn’t know that’s the story I wanted to tell, and makes this film so powerful.”

Captive is in theaters September 18th.

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Exclusive: The Bullet Scars That Will Forever Haunt Sheryl Lee Ralph’s Son, Etienne Maurice



Sheryl Lee Ralph shared a graphic photo on Instagram earlier this week of her son, Etienne Maurice, laying in a hospital bed bandaged up from bullet wounds. The purpose of the image was to be yet another voice calling to end gun violence.

On Wednesday, students across the country walked out of class to protest against gun violence, something that hit home for Ralph four years ago. “This mother wants #gunreform now! #guncontrol now,” she wrote.

It was during a night out in West Philadelphia that Ralph’s then 22-year-old child was robbed at gunpoint and shot three times; twice in the leg and one which grazed his forehead.

So as Ralph joined Wednesday’s national conversation about gun laws, HipHollywood talked exclusively with Etienne who shared exactly what went down the night a gun could have taken his life for good.

“I was shot four years ago, November 9 … I was black out drunk. The next thing I know I remember I woke up in the hospital, doctor said I had two bullet holes in my leg and a grazed bullet hole above my eyebrow.”

Maurice, who was robbed for his iPhone and his wallet, went on to tell us that this is something that he is reminded of constantly. “Having been shot is something that I carry with me every day. I still have numbness at the bottom of my leg from the nerve damage.”

And while he will always remember how he felt knowing his life almost ended, Etienne had a hard time fathoming how his famous mother felt. “We had the conversation about it last week and she said she peed on herself,” he told us.

For Maurice, he’s proud to see young children use their voices to make change. “There’s so many angles where we can talk about gun violence and how it’s effecting different communities,” he said. “Gun reform needs to take place now.”

Since that night, he hasn’t picked up a drink and has been now sober for four years. As for the suspects, a father-son duo, they are behind bars for attempted man slaughter.

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