Born in the Forest Gate section of London to Nigerian parents, CHIWETEL
EJIOFOR (Detective Bill Mitchell) started acting in school plays at the age of 13. He
earned a scholarship to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, then made his
feature film debut in 1997 in Steven Spielberg's Amistad. Ejiofor would follow this
performance with turns in Stephen Frears' critically acclaimed Dirty Pretty Things
(where he was many critics' pick for best actor), Richard Curtis' Love Actually, Spike
Lee's She Hate Me, Woody Allen's Melinda and Melinda, John Singleton's Four
Brothers and Joss Whedon's Serenity. This year, Ejiofor received a nomination for the
2006 BAFTA Orange Rising Star award, which recognizes exceptional talent and
outstanding performances in young actors.
Ejiofor will next been seen as the lead in Kinky Boots, which played on the
opening night of the 2006 Sundance Film Festival and will be released by Miramax this
spring. Shot in London, the film follows the story of a Soho transvestite (Ejiofor) who
helps resuscitate an ailing North Hampton shoe factory.
He recently completed shooting Universal's Children of Men, directed by Alfonso
CuarĂ³n, in which he stars opposite Clive Owen and Julianne Moore. Based on the novel
of the same title by P.D. James, Children of Men is set in the year 2027; Ejiofor plays
Luke, the leader of a radical political faction, who is in a race against Faron (Owen) to
control the future of the human race.
Ejiofor has also completed Tonight at Noon, in which he stars with Connie
Nielsen and Lauren Ambrose, with appearances by Ethan Hawke, Nick Nolte and Radha
Mitchell. The independent film is written and directed by Michael Almereyda (Hamlet).
Ejiofor plays two characters in the film, which centers on several New Yorkers who
experience random encounters that define their lives.
Ejiofor was voted Outstanding Newcomer at the London Evening Standard Awards in
2000 for his performance in Blue/Orange, a play about a mental patient who claims to be
the son of an exiled African dictator; he was also awarded the Jack Tinker Award for
Most Promising Newcomer at the 2000 London Critics Circle Theatre Awards (Drama)
for the performance. In 2001, he was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Theatre Award
for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Blue/Orange at the Royal National
Theatre. In 2003, he was nominated for Best Actor by the Washington Area Film Critics
Association and won a British Independent Film Award for Best Actor for his work in
Dirty Pretty Things.
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