Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s story of his 1965 march through Alabama is told in all its harrowing detail in Ava DuVernay's forthcoming biopic 'Selma', a movie in which Oprah Winfrey spent no time at all getting involved.

Oprah Winfrey in Selma
Oprah Winfrey plays Annie Lee Cooper in 'Selma'

Oprah has always held the issue of civil rights among African-Americans close to her heart, having appeared in a number of movies depicting the plight of racism in the US such as, most notably, 'The Color Purple' and, recently, 'The Butler'. But 'Selma' sees the new dawn for civil rights captured in a new film, with Martin Luther King's iconic march for black people's right to vote adapted by director Ava DuVernay and screenwriter Paul Webb. Her interest led to her not only coming on board as a producer, but also landing the role of legendary protester Annie Lee Cooper, who famously struck a Sheriff in the face after being refused the chance to register to vote.

More: Watch the trailer for 'Selma'

'I was convinced to do Annie Lee Cooper because of the magnitude of, not just the woman and the character, but the magnificence of what her courage meant to an entire movement', Oprah explains. She represents, in this film, the essence of why they came to Selma.' Martin Luther King may be a challenging enough role to take on (an honour bestowed upon David Oyelowo), but with such limited resources on much of his followers, playing certain roles with authenticity had their challenges.

'I tried to do her justice. She is an iconic civil rights figure that a lot of people don't know her name, but she represents more than just herself', says Oprah. 'Her willingness to step up to that moment and; number one, to keep trying to vote not once or twice or three times, multiple times; in the face of that denial to become so frustrated [that she ended up hitting the Sheriff]'.

More: David Oyelowo credits Oprah with 'Selma' release

'Selma' has been nominated for four Golden Globes and is set to hit movie theaters on January 9th 2015.