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'12 Years A Slave’ actor Chiwetel Ejiofor says tragedy inspired career

Actor Chiwetel Ejiofor attends the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards at Santa Monica Beach on March 1, 2014 in Santa Monica, California.
(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

It could be a big night for British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor as he is a contender for best actor at Sunday night’s 86th Academy Awards. According to a report by Mirror TV on March 2, the “12 Years A Slave” star has had to overcome tragedy to become an Oscar contender.

As he already has won the Bafta for best actor, Ejiofor is hopeful to add an Academy Award, which would be the highlight of his life and also would symbolize what the actor has had to overcome to reach this point in his career and in his life.

The 36-year-old, whose performance as Solomon Northup in the Steve McQueen Oscar-nominated film, has earned high accolades for his acting. But, as Ejiofor revealed, if it wasn’t for tragedy in his young life, he might not be where he is today. At just the age of 11, the actor saw his father die at just the age of 39 in a head-on car crash.

Ejiofor permanently scarred his forehead in the crash and the scar is a reminder of the inspiration he gained from his father who was a musician and also a reminder of how life short can be.

“I have a constant reflective relationship with (my dad). As I get closer to the age he was when he died, the relationship is becoming more acute. There’s a constant dynamic that will influence the kind of work I do. When tragedy strikes in a family there’s a sort of unspoken contract that you’ll pull together for everybody else.”

Chiwetel Ejiofor was able to pull it together through the inspiration of loss and within the guidance of strength and now he has a chance to win the film industry’s highest honors. Ejiofor will be going against Christian Bale, Leonardi DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey and Bruce Dern for best actor.