Chiwetel Umeadi Ejiofor MBE (born July 10, 1977) is a British 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, he was cast by Steven Spielberg to play a supporting role in the film Amistad (1997), with Morgan Freeman, Anthony Hopkins, Djimon Hounsou, Matthew McConaughey, Nigel Hawthorne, David Paymer, Pete Postlethwaite, Stellan Skarsgård, and Anna Paquin.
Films in the early 2000s include It Was an Accident (2000), with Thandiwe Newton, Max Beesley, James Bolam, and Nicola Stapleton; Stephen Frears’ Dirty Pretty Things (2002), with Audrey Tautou, Sergi López, Sophie Okonedo, Benedict Wong, and Zlatko Buric; Richard Curtis’ Love Actually (2003), with Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Laura Linney, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Keira Knightley, Martine McCutcheon, Bill Nighy, and Rowan Atkinson; Three Blind Mice (2003), with Edward Furlong and Emilia Fox; Spike Lee’s She Hate Me (2004), with Anthony Mackie, Kerry Washington, Ellen Barkin, Monica Bellucci, Brian Dennehy, Woody Harrelson, Bai Ling, and John Turturro; and Tom Hooper’s Red Dust (2004), with Hilary Swank.
Films in the mid 2000s include Woody Allen’s Melinda and Melinda (2005), with Radha Mitchell, Will Ferrell, Jonny Lee Miller, Amanda Peet, Chloë Sevigny, and Wallace Shawn; John Singleton’s Four Brothers (2005), with Mark Wahlberg, Tyrese Gibson, André Benjamin, Garrett Hedlund, Terrence Howard, Josh Charles, Sofía Vergara, Taraji P. Henson, and Fionnula Flanagan; Joss Whedon’s Serenity (2005), with Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, Morena Baccarin, Adam Baldwin, Jewel Staite, Sean Maher, Summer Glau, Ron Glass, David Krumholtz, and Sarah Paulson; Julian Jarrold’s Kinky Boots (2005), with Joel Edgerton, Sarah-Jane Potts, Jemima Rooper, Linda Bassett, Nick Frost, and Robert Pugh; Inside Man (2006), with Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster, Christopher Plummer, and Willem Dafoe; and Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men (2006), with Owen, Julianne Moore, Clare-Hope Ashitey, Michael Caine, Charlie Hunnam, and Danny Huston.
Films in the late 2000s include Slow Burn (2007), with Ray Liotta, LL Cool J, Mekhi Phifer, Bruce McGill, Guy Torry, Taye Diggs, and Jolene Blalock; Kasi Lemmons’ Talk to Me (2007), with Don Cheadle, Henson, Cedric the Entertainer, and Mike Epps; Ridley Scott’s American Gangster (2007), with Washington, Russell Crowe, Ted Levine, John Ortiz, Josh Brolin, Norman Reedus, Ruby Dee, Lymari Nadal, Cuba Gooding Jr., Armand Assante, John Ortiz, and John Hawkes; David Mamet’s Redbelt (2008), with Tim Allen, Alice Braga, Randy Couture, Ricky Jay, Joe Mantegna, Emily Mortimer, David Paymer, Rebecca Pidgeon, and Rodrigo Santoro; Endgame (2009), with William Hurt, Miller, Mark Strong, and Derek Jacobi; and 2012 (2009), with John Cusack, Peet, Oliver Platt, Newton, Danny Glover, and Harrelson.
Ejiofor was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave (2013), with Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti, Lupita Nyong’o, Sarah Paulson, Brad Pitt, and Alfre Woodard. Other films in the early to mid 2010s include Phillip Noyce’s Salt (2010), with Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Daniel Olbrychski, August Diehl, and Andre Braugher; Savannah (2013), with Jim Caviezel, Jaimie Alexander, Bradley Whitford, Sam Shepard, Tracey Walter, Jack McBrayer, and Hal Holbrook; Half of a Yellow Sun (2014), with Newton, Onyeka Onwenu, Anika Noni Rose, Joseph Mawle, Genevieve Nnaji, OC Ukeje, and John Boyega; Z for Zachariah (2015), with Margot Robbie and Chris Pine; The Martian (2015), with Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Kristen Wiig, Sean Bean, Michael Peña, Kate Mara, Sebastian Stan, Aksel Hennie, Mackenzie Davis, Donald Glover, and Wong; and Secret in Their Eyes (2015), with Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts, Dean Norris, Michael Kelly, Joe Cole and Alfred Molina.
Films in the mid to late 2010s include Triple 9 (2016), with Casey Affleck, Mackie, Aaron Paul, Clifton Collins Jr., Reedus, Teresa Palmer, Michael K. Williams, Gal Gadot, Harrelson, and Kate Winslet; the Marvel Cinematic Universe entry Doctor Strange (2016), with Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams, Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benjamin Bratt, Scott Adkins, Mads Mikkelsen, and Tilda Swinton; Joshua Marston’s Come Sunday (2018), with Jason Segel, Condola Rashad, Lakeith Stanfield, Stacey Sargeant, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Danny Glover, and Martin Sheen; Mary Magdalene (2018), with Rooney Mara, Joaquin Phoenix, and Tahar Rahim; The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (2019), with Maxwell Simba, Aïssa Maïga, Lily Banda, Joseph Marcell, and Noma Dumezweni; and Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019), with Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sam Riley, Ed Skrein, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple, Lesley Manville, and Michelle Pfeiffer.
Films in the early 2020s include Gina Prince-Bythewood’s The Old Guard (2020), with Charlize Theron, KiKi Layne, Matthias Schoenaerts, Marwan Kenzari, Luca Marinelli, Harry Melling, and Van Veronica Ngo; Doug Liman’s Locked Down (2021), with Anne Hathaway, Stephen Merchant, Mindy Kaling, Lucy Boynton, Mark Gatiss, Claes Bang, Ben Stiller, and Ben Kingsley; Antoine Fuqua’s Infinite (2021), with Wahlberg, Sophie Cookson, Jason Mantzoukas, Rupert Friend, Toby Jones, and Dylan O’Brien; Sam Raimi’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022), with Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Wong, McAdams, and Xochitl Gomez.
Eijiofor has also done voice work in the animated film Sherlock Gnomes (2018), with James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Maggie Smith, Caine, Ashley Jensen, Matt Lucas, Stephen Merchant, Ozzy Osbourne, Mary J. Blige, Jamie Demetriou, and Johnny Depp; and Jon Favreau’s The Lion King (2019), with Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodard, Billy Eichner, John Kani, John Oliver, Florence Kasumba, Eric André, Keegan-Michael Key, JD McCrary, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, and James Earl Jones.
TV movies and miniseries include Deadly Voyage (1996), with Omar Epps, Joss Ackland, Sean Pertwee, David Suchet, David Dontoh, and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje; Mind Games (2001), with Fiona Shaw and Colin Salmon; Twelfth Night, or What You Will (2003), with Parminder Nagra, Ronny Jhutti, Burt Caesar, Andrew Kazamia, Claire Price, Vic Tablian, Maureen Beattie, David Troughton, and Richard Bremmer; Tsunami: The Aftermath (2006), with Tim Roth, Okonedo, Hugh Bonneville, and Toni Collette; The Shadow Line (2011), with Christopher Eccleston, Rafe Spall, Lesley Sharp, Kierston Wareing, Antony Sher, and Stephen Rea; Stephen Poliakoff’s Dancing on the Edge (2013), with Jacqueline Bisset, Angel Coulby, Matthew Goode,
John Goodman, Anthony Head, Tom Hughes, Janet Montgomery, Wunmi Mosaku, Miles Richardson, Mel Smith, and Joanna Vanderham; and Phil Spector (2013), with Al Pacino, Helen Mirren, Jeffrey Tambor, Clara Mamet, James Tolkan, Linda Miller, and Rebecca Pidgeon.
Each review will be linked to the title below.
(*seen originally in theaters)
(**seen rereleased in theaters)
- Deadly Voyage (1996) – directed by John Mackenzie – TV movie
- Amistad (1997) – directed by Steven Spielberg
- G:MT – Greenwich Mean Time (1999) – directed by John Strickland
- It Was an Accident (2000) – directed by Metin Hüseyin
- Mind Games (2001) – directed by Richard Standeven – TV movie
- My Friend Soweto (2001) – directed by Jann Turner
- Dirty Pretty Things (2002) – directed by Stephen Frears
- Three Blind Mice (2003) – directed by Mathias Ledoux
- Twelfth Night, or What You Will (2003) – directed by Tim Supple – TV movie
- Love Actually (2003)* – directed by Richard Curtis
- She Hate Me (2004) – directed by Spike Lee
- Red Dust (2004) – directed by Tom Hooper
- Melinda and Melinda (2005) – directed by Woody Allen
- Four Brothers (2005) – directed by John Singleton
- Serenity (2005)* – directed by Joss Whedon
- Kinky Boots (2005) – directed by Julian Jarrold
- Inside Man (2006) – directed by Spike Lee
- Children of Men (2006)* – directed by Alfonso Cuarón
- Tsunami: The Aftermath (2006) – directed by Bharat Nalluri – miniseries
- Slow Burn (2007) – directed by Wayne Beach
- Talk to Me (2007) – directed by Kasi Lemmons
- American Gangster (2007) – directed by Ridley Scott
- Redbelt (2008) – directed by David Mamet
- Slapped (2008) – director, writer only – short
- Endgame (2009) – directed by Pete Travis
- 2012 (2009) – directed by Roland Emmerich
- Salt (2010) – directed by Phillip Noyce
- The Shadow Line (2011) – directed by Hugo Blick – miniseries
- Savannah (2013) – directed by Annette Haywood-Carter
- Dancing on the Edge (2013) – directed by Stephen Poliakoff – miniseries
- Phil Spector (2013) – directed by David Mamet – TV movie
- 12 Years a Slave (2013) – directed by Steve McQueen
- Making a Scene (2013) – directed by Janusz Kaminski – short
- Columbite Tantalite (2013) – director, writer only – short
- Half of a Yellow Sun (2014) – directed by Biyi Bandele
- Z for Zachariah (2015) – directed by Craig Zobel
- National Theatre Live: Everyman (2015) – directed by Rufus Norris & Nick Wickham – filmed play
- The Martian (2015)* – directed by Ridley Scott
- Secret in Their Eyes (2015) – directed by Billy Ray
- Triple 9 (2016) – directed by John Hillcoat
- Doctor Strange (2016)* – directed by Scott Derrickson
- Red Nose Day Actually (2017) – directed by Richard Curtis & Mat Whitecross – short
- Come Sunday (2018) – directed by Joshua Marston
- Mary Magdalene (2018) – directed by Garth Davis
- Sherlock Gnomes (2018) – directed by John Stevenson
- The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (2019) – also director, writer
- The Lion King (2019) – directed by Jon Favreau
- Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019) – directed by Joachim Rønning
- The Elephant Queen (2019) – directed by Victoria Stone & Mark Deeble – narrator – documentary
- The Old Guard (2020) – directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood
- Locked Down (2021) – directed by Doug Liman
- Infinite (2021) – directed by Antoine Fuqua
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022) – directed by Sam Raimi