Chiwetel Ejiofor - Rotten Tomatoes

Chiwetel Ejiofor



Some say that the eyes are a window into one's soul, and few actors are gifted enough to make an audience truly believe the plight of the characters they portray; despite their best efforts, their eyes often betray their abilities and we still recognize the actor playing the character. With his honest eyes, sincere smile, and unmistakable onscreen presence, actor Chiwetel Ejiofor possesses the rare ability to internalize his characters to an unusually realistic degree -- an ability that has gained him increasing recognition in the arena of world cinema.



Ejiofor was born to Nigerian parents in Forest Gate, East London; his father was a doctor and his mother a pharmacist. Though his calling may not have been readily apparent in his early childhood, by the time Ejiofor was 13, the aspiring young actor was taking to the stage in numerous school and National Youth Theater productions. His love of the stage growing with each passing year, by the time Ejiofor got to Dulwich College, his calling was clear. Soon attending the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, he gained a reputation as a formidable stage talent, and following appearances in high-profile productions at the Almeida Theater Company and the Royal National Theater, Ejiofor's talents found him drawn to the medium of television, where he would make his debut in the 1996 made-for-TV thriller Deadly Voyage.



It wasn't long before Ejiofor's talent caught the eye of legendary film director Steven Spielberg, and the following year, the up-and-coming actor was back on the high seas for Spielberg's historical drama Amistad. Of course, a role in such a high-profile release was bound to attract the attention of other filmmakers as well, and though Ejiofor would remain true to his theater roots, he would balance his stage work with roles in such films as Greenwich Mean Time (1999), It Was an Accident, and Mind Games (both 2000). Cast opposite Amélie star Audrey Tautou in Stephen Frears' 2001 drama thriller Dirty Pretty Things, Ejiofor essayed the role of a Nigerian immigrant living in London who makes a horrible discovery that puts his life in grave danger. It was glaringly obvious to any who had seen his performances that Ejiofor was one to look out for, and his winning performance as a hedonistic lawyer in the 2003 British miniseries Trust only served to cement the fact that his career was on the fast track. Remaining on the small screen for Twelfth Night, or What you Will and The Canterbury Tales (both 2003), Ejiofor would subsequently return to the big screen for Love Actually (2003) and Slow Burn (2004), a pair of films that virtually ensured him a high recognition factor and a bright future on stage and screen. He continued to work steadily in a variety of character roles. He anchored the dramatic sections of Woody Allen's Melinda and Melinda in 2004. He showed of his remarkable versatility in 2005 with roles in the urban thriller Four Brothers, the science fiction film Serenity, and starring as a flamboyant cross-dresser in the comedy Kinky Boots.



In 2006 he worked with a pair of high-powered directors. He played the partner to Denzel Washington's hostage negotiator in the hit thriller Inside Man, and played a large part in Alfonso Cuaron's Children of Men.



In 2007 he played opposite Don Cheadle in the biopic Talk to Me, and he was the lead in David Mamet's 2008 drama Redbelt playing a martial-arts expert. The next year he appeared in the disaster epic 2012, and he was in the Angelina Jolie action film Salt in 2010. In 2013, Ejiofor had a huge breakthrough playing enslaved Solomon Northup in 12 Years a Slave, earning him his first Oscar nomination.

Photos

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
90% Doctor Strange
  • Baron Mordo
2016
53% Triple 9
  • Michael Atwood
2016
No Score Yet Marching Powder
  • Thomas McFadden
2016
38% Secret in Their Eyes
  • Ray
2015
92% The Martian
  • Venkat Kapoor
2015
79% Z For Zachariah
  • Loomis
2015
No Score Yet National Theatre Live: Everyman
  • Actor
2015
No Score Yet National Theatre Live: Everyman Encore
  • Actor
2015
51% Half of a Yellow Sun
  • Odenigbo
2014
96% 12 Years a Slave
  • Solomon Northup
2013
8% Savannah
  • Christmas Moultrie
2013
49% Phil Spector
  • Mock Prosecutor
2013
62% Salt
  • Peabody
2010
No Score Yet Salt (Unrated)
  • Actor
2010
39% 2012
  • Adrian Helmsley
2009
71% Endgame
  • Thabo Mbeki
2009
68% Redbelt
  • Mike Terry
2008
80% American Gangster
  • Huey Lucas
2007
82% Talk to Me
  • Dewey Hughes
2007
12% Slow Burn
  • Trippin
2007
No Score Yet Tonight at Noon
  • Lee
2007
92% Children of Men
  • Luke
2006
No Score Yet Tsunami, The Aftermath
  • Ian Carter
2006
57% Kinky Boots
  • Lola
2006
87% Inside Man
  • Det. Bill Mitchell
2006
82% Serenity
  • The Operative
2005
53% Four Brothers
  • Victor Sweet
2005
53% Melinda and Melinda
  • Ellis
2005
19% She Hate Me
  • Frank Wills
2004
No Score Yet Red Dust
  • Alex Mpondo
2004
63% Love Actually
  • Peter
2003
No Score Yet Twelfth Night
  • Actor
2003
94% Dirty Pretty Things
  • Okwe
2003
No Score Yet 3 Blind Mice
  • Actor
2003
No Score Yet Three Blind Mice
  • Mark Hayward
2003
No Score Yet Mind Games
  • Actor
2001
No Score Yet It Was an Accident
  • Actor
2000
No Score Yet G:MT Greenwich Mean Time
  • Rix
1999
76% Amistad
  • Covey
1997
No Score Yet This is My Africa
  • Actor
1988

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT
No Score Yet The Shadow Line
2011
  • Actor
No Score Yet Late Show With David Letterman
1993-2015
  • Guest
No Score Yet The Late Late Show With James Corden
2015
  • Guest
61% Dancing on the Edge
2013
  • Louis Lester
No Score Yet The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
2015
  • Guest
No Score Yet Late Night With Seth Meyers
2014
  • Guest
No Score Yet Masterpiece
1971-2015
  • President Thabo Mbeki
No Score Yet Jimmy Kimmel Live
2003
  • Guest
No Score Yet The View
1997
  • Guest

Quotes from Chiwetel Ejiofor's Characters