Belfast Telegraph

David Oyelowo accidentally kissed barber during fumbled handshake

Actor David Oyelowo always panics when someone engages him in a dap handshake.

David Oyelowo once accidentally kissed his barber on the cheek during a botched handshake attempt.

The British Nigerian actor has risen to prominence in Hollywood in recent years, having gained critical acclaim for his portrayal of Louis Gaines in 2013's The Butler and Martin Luther King Jr. in the 2014 biographical drama Selma.

While his film career has meant shifting from his native England to the States, David admits he hasn't quite mastered local greetings, as he found when he recently went to get a haircut while he was playing the title role in Shakespeare's Othello at the New York Theatre Workshop.

"I just did a play in New York and I would go to this barbershop, and there was this barber, who every time he would see me... He would go for the dap - it's the black man's handshake," said David during an appearance on The Late Late Show with James Corden on Wednesday night (22Feb17), demonstrating the handshaking and fist bumping involved in the gesture with host James.

"It can go on and on and on. But you see, for me, I always panic, because I'm going in (thinking), 'Are we going for the handshake?' And mine is always limp."

On this occasion, the 40-year-old got so anxious that he totally botched the classic greeting and ended up spontaneously giving his barber a Hollywood-style air kiss.

"It started with a limp (handshake), and that was terrible. And then he's pulling me in for the hug, and I'm now panicking, and I think I kissed him on the cheek," he laughed. "Then we were in the clinch and he starts patting me on the back, and I couldn't tell if he was beating me because I kissed him, or not."

Meanwhile, David also shared that he was enjoying living in Los Angeles with his wife Jessica Watson and their four children. But even though he only became a naturalised American citizen last year (16), most people he meets don't realise he is British until he talks.

"I've done a bunch of films that are American movies, so a lot of people assume I'm African-American if they haven't heard me speak," he added.

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