He dug up old footage and photos to get a sense of his college days
Terrell: "I watched as much footage of him when he was as young as I could get, but really, there's nothing until he's in his early 30s. [The role required] a lot of imagination, a lot of reading through his books. There's these images of him when he's younger in college, when he was at Occidental. It's really just that time period, looking at those images and trying to understand, who was that young man?"
He learned how to play basketball left-handed
"It was extremely difficult, but it's so much fun. I love basketball, and my cousins were helping me. My cousin Kyle, he plays basketball all the time, so he was constantly rebounding for me and helping me perfect it."
He unearthed the small details of Obama
"I remember when I was reading, there were weird things that came up, like that he used to do crossword puzzles on a Sunday, and he used to always eat raisins, and his room smelled like brut, one of his ex-girlfriends said. I guess the fact that he was a normal guy. I didn't see that coming. I thought that everyone would speak so highly of him, say that he was always the class leader and always the president of every society, every part of his life. It was odd to see that he was the guy in the back trying to solve his own life."