Chiwetel Umeadi Ejiofor ( CHOO-ə-tel EJ-ee-oh-for; born 10 July 1977) is a British-Nigerian actor and filmmaker. After enrolling at the National Youth Theatre in 1995 and attending the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, at age 19 and three months into his course, Ejiofor was cast by Steven Spielberg to play a supporting role in the film Amistad (1997) as James Covey.Ejiofor portrayed the characters Okwe in Dirty Pretty Things (2002), Lola in Kinky Boots (2005), Victor Sweet in Four Brothers (2005), The Operative in Serenity (2005), Adrian Helmsley in 2012 (2009), Solomon Northup in 12 Years a Slave (2013), Vincent Kapoor in The Martian (2015), Karl Mordo in Doctor Strange (2016) and Trywell Kamkwamba in The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (2019). He voiced Dr. Watson in Sherlock Gnomes (2018) and Scar in the 2019 remake of The Lion King and featured in the fantasy film Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. For 12 Years a Slave, he received Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations, along with the BAFTA Award for Best Actor. He was nominated for a 2014 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for his performance on Dancing on the Edge.Ejiofor has received numerous awards and nominations for acting, including the BAFTA Orange Rising Star Award in 2006, two Golden Globe Award nominations, and the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor for his performance in Othello in 2008. In 2008, he was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II for services to the arts. He was elevated to Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2015 Birthday Honours.
Ejiofor is friends with fellow British actors Benedict Cumberbatch, Idris Elba and Andrew Lincoln, the last of whom he has been close to since they starred together in the play Blue/Orange in London in 2000.In 2015, Ejiofor was honoured with a Global Promise Award by The GEANCO Foundation, a non-profit welfare organisation in West Africa, for his charity work in Nigeria.On 12 September 2016, Ejiofor, as well as Cate Blanchett, Jesse Eisenberg, Peter Capaldi, Douglas Booth, Neil Gaiman, Keira Knightley, Juliet Stevenson, Kit Harington and Stanley Tucci, featured in a video from the United Nations' refugee agency UNHCR to help raise awareness of the global refugee crisis. The video, titled "What They Took With Them", has the actors reading a poem, written by Jenifer Toksvig and inspired by primary accounts of real refugees, and is part of UNHCR's #WithRefugees campaign, which also includes a petition to governments to expand asylum to provide further shelter, integrating job opportunities, and education.
Ejiofor was born in London's Forest Gate, to upper middle-class Nigerian parents of Igbo descent. His father, Arinze, was a doctor, and his mother, Obiajulu, was a pharmacist. His younger sister, Zain Asher, is a CNN correspondent.In 1988, when Ejiofor was 11, during a family trip to Nigeria for a wedding, he and his father were driving to Lagos after the celebrations when their car was involved in a head-on crash with a lorry. His father was killed, and Ejiofor was badly injured, receiving scars that are still visible on his forehead.Ejiofor began acting in school plays at his junior school, Dulwich Prep London (known at the time as 'Dulwich College Preparatory School'), where he played the gravedigger in William Shakespeare's Hamlet. He continued acting at his senior school, Dulwich College and joined the National Youth Theatre. He got into the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art but left after his first year, after being cast in Steven Spielberg's film Amistad. He played the title role in Othello at the Bloomsbury Theatre in September 1995, and again at the Theatre Royal, Glasgow in 1996, when he starred opposite Rachael Stirling as Desdemona.
Movies & TV shows
Linda and Paxton call for a truce to attempt a high-risk jewellery robbery at one of the world's most exclusive department stores.
A troubled young man haunted by memories of two past lives stumbles upon a centuries-old secret society of similar individuals and dares to join their ranks.
Filmed over a three-year period, the film journeys across the planet seeking those on the frontline fighting to protect the world's most precious resource from running out. It seeks to awaken and insp...
The Old Guard
Four undying warriors who've secretly protected humanity for centuries become targeted for their mysterious powers just as they discover a new immortal.
5 Movies · 1 TV show
The Lion King: Can You Feel The Love Tonight with Robin Roberts
"The Lion King: Can You Feel The Love Tonight with Robin Roberts" will explore the enduring universal appeal of "The Lion King" franchise, tap into its past and how it came to be, and offer a glimpse ...
The Elephant Queen
As she leads her elephant herd across an unforgiving African landscape, join the majestic matriarch, Athena.
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
Against all the odds, a thirteen year old boy in Malawi invents an unconventional way to save his family and village from famine.
Earth from Space
There are cameras in space that tell stories of life on our planet from a brand new perspective, revealing new discoveries, incredible colours and patterns, and just how fast it is changing.
The Lion King
King Mufasa's son idolizes his father and takes to heart his own royal destiny. People in the kingdom don't celebrate the arrival of a new animal. Scar, Mufasa's brother and former heir to the throne,...
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
Maleficent and her goddaughter Aurora begin to question the complex family ties that bind them as they are pulled in different directions by upcoming nuptials, unexpected allies, and dark new forces a...
A detective was hired to investigate the disappearance of garden ornaments.
Carlton Pearson was ostracized by his church because he preached that there is no Hell.
In the first century, free-spirited Mary Magdalene flees the marriage her family has arranged for her, finding refuge and a sense of purpose in a radical new movement led by the charismatic, rabble-ro...
Red Nose Day Actually
Fourteen years after the events of the first film, a series of encounters between people in Britain remind us that Love, actually exists.
Doctor Strange: Strange Company
The support characters are portrayed by actors. The director's work and the qualities he brought to the film are explored in this supplement.
After his career is destroyed, a brilliant but arrogant surgeon gets a new lease on life when a sorcerer takes him under her wing and trains him to defend the world against evil.
The Long Way Home: Making 'The Martian'
A long form documentary on the making of Ridley Scott's film, "The Martian," featuring interviews with its cast and crew.
Ares III: Refocused
Some of the actors from the movie are in this fakedocumentary about the rescue of Mark Watney.
A gang of criminals and corrupt cops plan the murder of a police officer in order to pull off their biggest robbery yet across town.
4 Movies · 1 TV show
National Theatre Live: Everyman
Everyman is successful when Death arrives. He is forced to abandon the life he has built and embark on a last, frantic search to find a friend to speak for him. Death is running out of time. Is it onl...
Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm when he is left behind by his crew on a manned mission to Mars. Watney is stuck on a planet. He needs to rely on his ingenuity, wit and spirit to surv...
During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on t...
Secret in Their Eyes
A tight-knit team of FBI investigators, along with their District Attorney supervisor, are suddenly torn apart when they discover that one of their own teenage daughters has been brutally murdered.
Z for Zachariah
In the wake of a nuclear war, a young woman is afraid she will be the last woman on the planet. Radiation exposure and his search for other people nearly drove him insane. They are connected by a stra...
7 Movies · 1 TV show
The true story of Ward Allen is that he rejects his plantation heritage for the freedom of life on a river. Ward navigates the change of early 20th century America on the wrong side of the law and soc...
The Making of 'Making a Scene'
A behind-the-scenes look at the year's  best performers starring in 11 original (very) short films directed by Oscar-winning cinematographer Janusz Kaminski.
There was a drama about Phil's relationship with Linda while he was on trial.
A short film is about resource exploitation.
Half of a Yellow Sun
Olanna and Kainene are an epic love story. The two women make very different choices of lovers, but rivalry and betrayal must be set aside as their lives are swept up in the turbulence of war.
Dancing on the Edge
There was a jazz band in London.
Making a Scene
For this year's Movies Issue, The New York Times Magazine commissioned lines from an eclectic and talented group of screenwriters, who were responsible for some of the best scripts of the year. We ask...
12 Years a Slave
In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty as well as unexpected kindnesses Solomon struggles not on...
1 TV show
The Shadow Line
Police and criminals use different methods. The line is morality within each person and how far they will go before they cross it.
The End of the World: The Actor's Perspective
The 2012 film's ensemble cast and the strengths they brought to the project are the subject of a short piece.
2012: Roland Emmerich - Master of the Modern Epic
The 2012 film's cast and crew praised the work, vision, and style of the famed Disaster movie director in this documentary. There is a man by the name of "Roland Emmerich."
Evelyn Salt was a CIA officer. When she is accused of being a Russian spy, her loyalty will be tested. Salt uses her years of experience as a covert operative to avoid capture as she goes on the run. ...
The late '80s was a crucial time in the history of South Africa. President P.W. As the ANC takes up arms against apartheid and the country tumbles toward insurrection, Botha is hanging on to power by ...
There is a doctor. The sun's radiation is heating up the earth's core. He warns the U.S. To be careful. The entire race is doomed because the crust of the earth is becoming unstable and without proper...
A masked man is fighting a people's champ in a crowded bar. This is an adult, brutal version of slaps that can break a man's hand. Three years ago, James' alcoholic father Michael left him and his mot...
This Is My Africa
The memories, tastes and experiences that people associate with Africa are discussed in the interview.
His wife wants Mike in the ring to make money, but he doesn't like competition. A woman shoots out the studio's window after sideswiping Mike's car. A person is at a bar. In return, the actor befriend...
3 Movies · 1 TV show
Partition: The Day India Burned
One of the biggest migrations in history was triggered by Britain's withdrawal from India in 1947. More than one million people lost their lives as a result of the displacement. The story is told thro...
The Graham Norton Show
GrahamNorton talks about what's happening. The guests are talking. Graham is playing an instrument.
Talk to Me
The story of Washington D.C. Petey hosted a talk show in the 1960s.
After the death of his employer, Frank Lucas was the number one importer of heroin in the Harlem district of Manhattan. He buys heroin directly from the source in South East Asia and then comes up wit...
2 Movies · 2 TV shows
Children of Men
In a chaotic world in which humans can no longer procreate, a former activist agrees to help transport a pregnant woman to a sanctuary at sea, where her child's birth may help scientists save the futu...
On September 18, 2006 the United States and Canada saw the debut of The Rachael Ray Show, an American talk show starring Ray that is syndicated in the United States and Canada. It was filmed in New Yo...
When an armed, masked gang enter a Manhattan bank, lock the doors and take hostages, the detective assigned to effect their release enters negotiations preoccupied with corruption charges he is facing...
Tsunami: The Aftermath
The events following the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake are dramatized in the mini-series. One of the stars of the movie is Chiwetel Ejiofor. It was filmed in Thailand from April to June of 2006 in the ...
4 Movies · 1 TV show
MCU: A Chronology
The MCU: A Chronology tells the story of all the films and television shows in chronological order. You haven't watched a movie like this before.
A district attorney is involved in a confrontation with a gang leader and is also being manipulated by an attractive assistant district attorney and a mysterious stranger.
Charles Price may have grown up with his father in the family shoe business in Northampton, in central England, but he never thought that he would take his father's place. After the death of his fathe...
Four brothers returned to Detroit to avenge their mother's death.
When the renegade crew of Serenity agrees to hide a fugitive on their ship, they find themselves in an action-packed battle between the relentless military might of a totalitarian regime who will dest...
Sarah Barcant, a lawyer in New York City who grew up in South Africa, returned to her childhood home to help Alex Mpondo, a Black South African politician who was tortured during apartheid.
She Hate Me
A fired executive had sex with lesbians.
Melinda and Melinda
It's hard to separate comedy from tragedy when dining out with friends. He tells his guests two parallel stories about Melinda, one with the same basic elements, but the other is full of anguish. A ro...
3 Movies · 2 TV shows
As they fall in and out of love, the people are followed. As Christmas approaches,affections grow and develop.
There were six dramas called The Canterbury Tales. Each story is an adaptation of a story from the 14th century.
In a busy corporate law firm, Stephen Bradley and his team work fast and furiously to put together mergers, takeovers and buyouts for a range of clients. It's not as clear and clinical as that. When c...
Twelfth Night, or What You Will
Modern day society made a multicultural version of Twelth Night.
Three Blind Mice
A computer programmer named Thomas lives in an urban area. In the world of internet chat rooms and virtual communication, he finds solitude. Thomas was the prime suspect in the murder of his friend. W...
Dirty Pretty Things
There are legal and illegal immigrants at an urban hotel in London. One of the immigrants working at the hotel is a Nigerian doctor named Okwe. There are a lot of activities at the hotel. Their only w...
1 TV show
Murder in Mind
Murder in Mind is a British television drama anthology series of self-contained stories with a murderous theme seen from the perspective of the murderer.
G:MT Greenwich Mean Time
Six London school-leavers attempt to make it in the world, balancing the challenge of trying to make a name for themselves in the music industry against the pressures and tragedies of everyday life.
The Amistad was a slave ship that sailed from Cuba to America. The slaves revolted. After they are held prisoner in Connecticut, their release becomes the subject of heated debate. Theodore Joadson wa...
Some of the officers and crew on the Russian cargo ship decided to dispose of the stowedaways at sea. Black marks were entered into the ship's records when he left the ship into a foreign port.
2 Movies · 1 TV show
A chronicle of the life of Fela Kuti, the Nigerian musician and political force who invented Afro-beat music and introduced it to the world.
The Man Who Fell to Earth
An extraterrestrial alien arrives on Earth at a turning point in human evolution and must confront his own past to determine our future.
Tonight at Noon
Lee and Mae are trying to reconcile their differences. Lee works through his frustration by forming his problems into a story in his mind, as Mae struggles with her memories of a former flame. Everyth...
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Chiwetel_Ejiofor", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.