Oprah Winfrey Praises 'Magnificence' of Civil Rights Activist Annie Lee Cooper

Paramount Pictures

In the highly anticipated Selma, Oprah plays Annie Lee Cooper, a demonstrator who was arrested for punching a sheriff.

Taylor Lewis Dec, 30, 2014

As the wide release date for Selma approaches, the film continues to garnish more and more buzz. The movie; its director, Ava DuVernay; and its star, David Oyelowo, have been racking in the awards, including a both Golden Globes nominations and Critics’ Choice Awards.

Renaissance woman Oprah Winfrey also landed an NAACP Image Award nomination for her role as real-life activist Annie Lee Cooper, who was arrested in 1965 for punching Selma sheriff Jim Clark.

“The reason I said yes to this role was because of the magnificence of Annie Lee Cooper and what her courage meant to an entire movement,” Winfrey said in an exclusive featurette for the film. “Having people look at you and not see you as a human being, she just got tired of it.”

The film follows the Dr. Martin Luther King-led voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. Selma is currently in limited release, but will open everywhere on January 9.

Check out the exclusive video here.