He is Chiwetel Ejiofor

Chiwetel Ejiofor is an English Actor, Film director and Screenwriter. He is renowned for his portrayal of Solomon Northup in 12 Years a Slave (2013), for which he received Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations, along with the BAFTA Award for Best Actor.

He is also known for playing Okwe in Dirty Pretty Things (2002), the Operative in Serenity (2005), Lola in Kinky Boots (2005), Luke in Children of Men (2006), Dr. Adrian Helmsley in 2012 (2009) and Dr. Vincent Kapoor in The Martian (2015).

Ejiofor was born on 10th July 1977 in Forest Gate, London, to Nigerian Igbo parents from the upper-middle class. Arinze, his father, was a physician, and Obiajulu, his mother, was a pharmacist. Zain Asher, his younger sister, works as a CNN correspondent.

He began acting in school plays. In his junior school, Dulwich Prep London (then known as ‘Dulwich College Preparatory School,’) he played the gravedigger in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

He continued acting at Dulwich College, his senior high school, and joined the National Youth Theatre. He was accepted into the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art but dropped out after being cast in Steven Spielberg’s Amistad.

In September 1995, he starred opposite Rachael Stirling as Desdemona in Othello at the Bloomsbury Theatre, and again in 1996 at the Theatre Royal, Glasgow.

In the television movie Deadly Voyage, Ejiofor made his acting debut (1996). He moved to London to pursue a career as a stage actor. He played interpreter Ensign James Covey in Steven Spielberg’s Amistad.

He made his film debut in the British film G: MT – Greenwich Mean Time in 1999. He made his Royal National Theatre (Cottesloe stage) and later the Duchess Theatre debuts in Blue/Orange in 2000. In the same year, he was nominated for the Ian Charleson Award for his portrayal of Romeo in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

In 2000, at the Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards, Ejiofor received the Jack Tinker Award for Most Promising Newcomer. Ejiofor won the London Evening Standard Theatre Award for Outstanding Newcomer in 2000 and was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2001 for his performance in Blue/Orange.

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