TIME movies

Go Behind the Scenes of David Oyelowo’s TIME Photo Shoot

The actor highlights MLK's charisma and political persuasion in 'Selma'

David Oyelowo, who plays Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the Golden Globe-nominated film Selma, was photographed by John Scarisbrick for TIME’s Best of Culture 2014.

Selma centers around the voter rights movement led by King ahead of the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

“Great storytelling, great writing is always going through the highest moment of tension, the deepest moment of conflict, and that’s what this represented,” Oyelowo says of the film.

Above, go behind the scenes of TIME’s photo shoot with the British actor.

TIME movies

Ava DuVernay and David Oyelowo on Selma and Ferguson

The director and star of the most provocative film of the year speak out

In the new issue of TIME, director Ava DuVernay and actor David Oyelowo discuss their Golden Globe-nominated movie Selma—a look back at the voting-rights marches of 1965 that manages to feel utterly contemporary.

Its relevance comes in large part from the film’s refusal to treat its main character, Martin Luther King Jr., as an icon. In Oyelowo’s hands, the character becomes a frustrated, struggling, but ultimately triumphant leader, one who would not necessarily be out of place on the streets of Ferguson, Mo. Perhaps it helps that Oyelowo, who’s become a favorite for an Oscar nomination for Best Actor, never learned about King in school: The actor playing one of the 20th century’s greatest Americans is, in fact, British.

In this clip from TIME’s interview with DuVernay and Oyelowo, the pair discuss the resonance of Selma, as well as what may be the most important aspect of the film—the speech that was left out.

TIME Music

Watch Tinashe’s Tips for Turning Up Your New Year’s Eve Party

The singer stopped by TIME to reflect on her breakout year

Tinashe had a life-changing year thanks to “2 On” — her hypnotic ode to intoxication topped rhythm radio for more than a month in 2014 — but some fans still have no idea what she’s talking about.

“The craziest part of being on tour is being overseas and having crazed fans so far away from home,” says the singer, who stopped by TIME’s office just a few days after she made our Top 10 Best Songs of 2014 list. “They don’t speak English, but they still know the lyrics. That’s a trip. A lot of people don’t know what ‘2 on’ means, but that’s the cool thing about music — it’s always open to interpretation. It can be whatever we want it to be.”

Before scoring her club hit about getting a little too buzzed at parties, Tinashe released three acclaimed mixtapes that she recorded in her home studio. She now has access to top recording facilities and A-list producers — her debut album, Aquarius, featured collaborations with Mike WiLL Made-It and Stargate — but she still writes and records on her own, and she’s already planning her next album.

“My new year’s resolutions are just to improve in all aspects, from my live show to my music to my music videos — just push it,” says Tinashe, who hopes to release new music next year. “I don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.”

TIME movies

Big Eyes Star Krysten Ritter: ‘Strong, Powerful Women—That’s What I Gravitate Towards’

The star talks feminism, work and her new role as a sixties firebrand

Krysten Ritter plays the voice of reason in the new Tim Burton film Big Eyes—that is, she plays DeeAnn, an enlightened feminist who sees through the problems in the marriage between Margaret and Walter Keane (Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz). “I represent the bigger feminist movement,” Ritter tells TIME. “A bolder woman who speaks up.” Ritter provides the film’s leavening sharp wit, as well as its sense that something between the Keanes is deeply screwy.

Big Eyes tells the story of how Walter Keane stole, for years, credit for his wife’s paintings, those famous (and famously creepy) big-eyed waifs. Margaret Keane, who’s still alive and still painting, grew isolated from the world and alienated from the art that was making her husband famous. In an interview with TIME, Ritter talks about the degree to which male artists still have it a bit easier than their female counterparts. “It would be greedy for me to say that there aren’t a lot of roles, because I’m working consistently and I’m very fortunate,” she says. “But I see more opportunities for boys than I do for girls.”

The star of Big Eyes and the upcoming Netflix/Marvel series A.K.A. Jessica Jones (who said her 2014 new year’s resolutions had been to book a Burton film and a Netflix show) remains optimistic, though. “That’s hopefully changing,” she says.

TIME person of the year

Watch U.S. Ebola Survivors Describe Fighting the Deadly Virus

"I saw his eyes and they had been red from crying, and I knew immediately"

Dr. Kent Brantly vividly remembers the day he was told he had Ebola. A missionary doctor with Samaritan’s Purse in Liberia, Brantly had been treating Ebola patients and was familiar with the deadliness of the disease.

And yet, he didn’t panic when a colleague broke the news.

“It was really a very surreal moment. It was a very solemn moment,” Brantly says. “I felt a very strange but overwhelming sense of peace.”

For Dallas nurse Nina Pham, who had cared for Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian in Dallas, learning that she tested positive for Ebola was devastating news.

“Because Mr. Duncan had died three days prior, flashbacks started coming to my head of how his disease progressed and eventually led to his death,” Pham says.

In the video above, Brantly and Pham, along with nurse Amber Vinson, Dr. Rick Sacra and medical aide Nancy Writebol — all of whom have survived Ebola — recount their experiences.

TIME named Ebola Fighters as the 2014 Person of the Year. Read the full story here.

TIME Thanksgiving

5 Things You Didn’t Know About the History of Thanksgiving

Some tidbits about the holiday you can use to impress everyone around the Thanksgiving dinner table

If not for some fortunate circumstances, Thanksgiving could have been a holiday of fasting — rather than feasting — every fourth Thursday of November. And though it’s a well-cherished occasion today, it was met with some disapproval in past centuries.

In the video above, we present you with a few facts about the history of Thanksgiving that just might give you a few more things to be thankful for this season.

TIME Parenting

What Bill Gates’ Kids Do with their Allowance

How do you teach insanely wealthy kids how to manage money?

The rich are different from you and I, but they still want to give their kids an allowance. So what do the world’s richest man’s kids do with their money? Melinda Gates came to TIME’s offices to talk about her new focus on women and children and especially on contraceptives, but she spilled some secrets about how she tries to get her kids to be purposeful with their money.

First of all, she tries to be true to her values, to articulate them and live them out. Then, they do a lot of volunteering together, at “whatever tugs at their heartstrings” says Gates. And of course, they’ve traveled with her. “They have that connection I think to the developing world,” she says. “They see the difference a flock of chicks makes in a family’s life. It’s huge.”

Read the 10 Questions with Melinda Gates here

Gates has always made a point of getting into the streets and poorer neighborhoods when she travels for meetings and conferences. And sometimes she takes her kids. It’s there, she says, that she meets mothers who tell her that their biggest struggle is having so many children. Although Gates was raised Catholic, she is heading up an initiative to get family planning information, contraceptives and services to 120 million more women by the year 2020. That includes new technology, better delivery system and a lot of education, including for men.

She’s similarly rigorous about her home life. Her kids save a third of their allowance and designate a charity they’d like to give it to. (They can also list donations to charities on their Christmas wish list.) As further incentive, their parents double whatever money they’ve saved. Which means they may be the only children in the world to get a matching grant from the Gates Foundation.

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TIME leadership

Melinda Gates on How Women Limit Their Opportunities

Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Gates Foundation, former Microsoft executive and spouse of the Uber-nerd has turned her attention to the issue of women and girls. Her purview is mostly the world’s poorest, but she had some things to say about how even educated and affluent women hold themselves back.

“They doubt themselves,” Melinda told TIME during this week’s 10 Questions interview. “Women don’t tend to see themselves as ready for the next role, as they ought to.” Gates, who recently raised $2.3 billion (that’s with a B) at the London Family Planning Summit, said that at first she didn’t want to head up the drive to make contraceptive choices available to women in developing countries. “I wasn’t sure I was the right person,” she said. “I kept looking for somebody else to lead the effort.”

But she noted that good managers can provide a simple workaround for this problem, simply by making sure to give the women a little nudge to throw their hats in the ring. “I think it’s up to the managers—men or women— to reach down and pull those women up and say, “No, you are ready for that promotion,” or, “You’re at least as qualified as the men.”

In the interview Gates also spoke about what she’s doing to make sure her kids handle their great wealth (including how they allocate their pocket money) and how she refocused her life after turning 50. Subscribers can read the interview here.

TIME movies

See Why Benedict Cumberbatch Is So Photogenic

Behind the scenes of TIME's latest cover shoot with Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch’s face doesn’t have a good side or a bad side — he’s very symmetrical, says photographer Dan Winters, who shot him for this week’s TIME cover.

“I’m not as concerned as I would normally have to be about where I’m positioning him, where I’m lighting from,” says Winters. “A lot of actors are pretty asymmetrical, and you have to work around that.”

In the cover image, Cumberbatch is seated behind a table, framed by both real and recreated World War II items: a rare vintage Enigma machine, a bomb wheel made by Winters, and more. The setup was meant to capture Cumberbatch as an actor with a nod to his upcoming film, The Imitation Game, says Winters.

“He showed up with a cool and modern retro version of what he wore in the film — something, he told me, he thought Turing would have worn if alive today,” Winters told TIME LightBox. “He had done his work and we used that in the shoot.”

The resulting mood of the photo was “quiet, a little pensive, sort of contemplative.” And yes, Cumberbatch looks great in it.

Click here to read more about the shoot.

Read next: Go Behind TIME’s Benedict Cumberbatch Cover With Photographer Dan Winters

TIME movies

Benedict Cumberbatch Talks About Playing the Role of the Genius

The actor talks about the challenges of his various roles while on the set of TIME's cover shoot

Geniuses, no matter how smart or intimidating, still have some things in common with the rest of us.

Benedict Cumberbatch says of portraying them, “It’s also, actually, the great gift I suppose — is to realize that they’re bound by the human condition. They’re blood and flesh like us. They live in the same worlds as us.”

Cumberbatch is no stranger to portraying individuals of remarkable intelligence, having taken on roles ranging from Star Trek‘s super-human Khan to Alan Turing in the upcoming film The Imitation Game.

“I suppose being remarkably stupid in comparison to any of these people’s abilities is difficult sometimes, but that only really manifests when you’re actually asked to do something that they can do,” says Cumberbatch.

For example? Playing the violin as Sherlock Holmes.

Above, watch Cumberbatch reflect on his past roles and what he relishes about the experiences.

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