Chiwetel Ejiofor recently won a BAFTA for Best Leading Actor for Steve McQueen’s TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE, in which he starred alongside Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt and Paul Giamatti. Ejiofor’s film career dates back to 1996, when Stephen Spielberg cast him in the critically acclaimed AMISTAD, alongside Morgan Freeman and Anthony Hopkins. He returned to the big screen in Stephen Frears’ 2001 thriller DIRTY PRETTY THINGS for which he won Best Actor at the British Independent Film Awards and the Evening Standard Film Awards. In 2003, he co-starred in three films: Richard Curtis’ LOVE ACTUALLY, Woody Allen’s MELINDA AND MELINDA and SLOW BURN, with Ray Liotta. 2008 saw Ejiofor star in Ridley Scott’s AMERICAN GANGSTER, opposite Don Cheadle in TALK TO ME, and in David Mamet’s REDBELT.
Ejiofor’s other film credits include KINKY BOOTS (2005), the urban drama FOUR BROTHERS (2005) alongside Mark Whalberg, Spike Lee’s heist film INSIDE MAN alongside Clive Owen, Jodie Foster and Denzel Washington, and the Oscar nominated CHILDREN OF MEN, once again alongside Clive Owen, both 2006. In 2009, he earned a Golden Globe nomination, his second, for ENDGAME with William Hurt, and co-starred in Roland Emmerich’s action feature 2012 opposite John Cusack, Danny Glover and Thandie Newton. The following year he co-starred in SALT, with Angelina Jolie and Liev Schreiber.
Following his television debut in 1996 in Deadly Voyage, Chiwetel has been seen in numerous productions including Murder in Mind, created by the award winning writer Anthony Horowitz, Trust (2003), Twelfth Night, Or What You Will, (2003) and The Canterbury Tales – The Knight’s Tale (2003). His performance in 2006’s hard hitting emotional drama Tsunami: the Aftermath alongside Toni Collette, Sophie Okonedo and Tim Roth earned him a Golden Globe nomination. In 2011 he played the lead in the award winning The Shadow Line, a BBC thriller, alongside Christopher Eccleston, Lesley Sharp and Rafe Spall. In 2012, he appeared in Endgame, Channel 4’s moving drama set in South Africa and early in 2013 Ejiofor starred in Dancing on the Edge, Stephen Poliakoff’s series for the BBC co-starring Matthew Goode.
Ejiofor balances his film and television commitments with his theatre work. In summer 2013, he was seen in Joe Wright’s production for The Young Vic, A Season in the Congo. In 2008 his performance in the title role of Michael Grandage’s Othello at the Donmar Warehouse alongside Kelly Reilly and Ewan McGregor won him Best Actor at the Olivier Awards and the Evening Standard Theatre Awards. His other stage credits include Roger Michell’s Blue/Orange in 2000, and in the same year Tim Supple’s Romeo and Juliet in which he took the title role.
In addition to his acting career, Ejiofor has also directed a short film, SLAPPER, which was screened at the 2008 Edinburgh International Film Festival.