When British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor was 19, and studying at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, he was chosen by Spielberg to play a small part in ‘Amistad’, and as other actors have experienced before, this was a call he could not overlook.
His acting career is filled with awards and recognitions: The BAFTA, Golden Globe and the Lawrence Olivier award for his performance in a stage production of Othello. In 2008 he was presented with an OBE by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to the arts, all of this cementing his indelible imprint in the art of acting.
After years of participating in films as diverse as ‘Kinky Boots’, ‘Serenity’ and ‘American Gangster’, Ejiofor was offered the role of a lifetime as real-life Solomon Northup, a free man that is caught and enslaved in Steve McQueen’s ’12 Years a Slave’. Initially he turned down the offer for fear of the extreme physical and psychological requirements, but as he accepted, he immersed himself in the Louisiana plantation culture and learned to play the violin.
This is a performance that towers a career full of interesting characters in films from well-recognized filmmakers as Stephen Frears, Woody Allen, Alfonso Cuaron and Spike Lee among many others.
The following is a list of some of his performances in his most relevant films.