Born in the Forest Gate section of London to Nigerian parents, CHIWETEL
EJIOFOR (Huey Lucas) started acting in school plays at the age of 13. After earning a
scholarship to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, he 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, which earned him
many critics' picks for Best Actor, including nominations for Best Actor by The
Washington, D.C. Area Film Critics Association and a British Independent Film Award,
San Diego Film Critics Society Award and the Evening Standard British Film Award for
Best Performance by an Actor in 2003. His other film credits include Love Actually;
Spike Lee's She Hate Me and Inside Man; Woody Allen's Melinda and Melinda; John
Singleton's Four Brothers; and Joss Whedon's Serenity. In 2006, Ejiofor received a
nomination for the 2006 BAFTA Orange Rising Star Award, which recognizes
exceptional talent and outstanding performances in young actors. In 2007, Ejiofor
received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion
Picture Musical or Comedy for Kinky Boots. He also received a second Golden Globe
nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for
Television, and recently won the Golden Nymph Award in Monte Carlo for his
performance in Tsunami: The Aftermath.
Ejiofor was recently seen in the Focus Features film Talk to Me, opposite Don
Cheadle. Ejiofor plays Dewey Hughes, the lifelong producer of Washington, D.C. radio
personality Ralph Greene (Cheadle), an ex-con who became a popular talk-show host and
community activist in the 1960s. He also co-starred in Universal's Children of Men,
directed by Alfonso CuarĂ³n, opposite Clive Owen and Julianne Moore.
Ejiofor is currently filming the Sony feature Redbelt, directed by David Mamet.
This story is about Mike Terry, a jiujitsu master who has avoided the prizefighting
circuit, choosing instead to pursue a life of honor and education by operating a
studio in Los Angeles. Terry's life is dramatically changed when he is conned by
a cabal of movie stars and promoters. In order to pay off his debts and regain his honor,
Terry must step into the ring for the first time in his life. Ejiofor also completed filming
on Tonight at Noon, in which he stars alongside Connie Nielsen and Lauren Ambrose,
with appearances by Ethan Hawke and Nick Nolte. This independent film is written and
directed by Michael Almereyda.
Ejiofor's talent also extends to the stage. He was voted Outstanding Newcomer at
the Evening Standard Theatre 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. This
performance also earned him The Jack Tinker Award for Most Promising Newcomer at
the 2000 London Critics' Circle Theatre Awards and a Laurence Olivier Theatre Award
nomination for Best Supporting Actor at the Royal National Theatre in 2001.
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