We bring you the facts about the star of 12 YEARS A SLAVE…

12 YEARS A SLAVE is released in Irish cinemas this week. The film, directed by Steve McQueen, features a star making performance from Chiwetel Ejiofor, so we took the opportunity to find out more about the actor.

Ejiofor’s first major movie role was in AMISTAD, directed by Steven Spielberg
… Not a bad start to a movie career! Ejiofor played Ensign Covery; a translator for the captives of the Amistad.

Chiwetel played Peter in LOVE ACTUALLY; the husband of Keira Knightley’s character, Juliet.
… And even on re-watches, he is still adorable.

In case you were wondering, his name is pronounced Chew-eh-tell Edge-ee-oh-for.
… We were pronouncing it wrong too. Sorry Chiwetel!

Ejiofor has had a hugely successful stage career and was awarded the O.B.E. (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2008 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his services to drama.
… Quite the honour indeed.

Chiwetel’s younger sister is Zain Asher, a financial reporter for CNN.
… Talent seems to run in the family!

Not only did Ejiofor play The Operative in Joss Whedon’s SERENITY, but he did many of his own stunts for the film too.
… Is there anything he can’t do!?

The scars on Ejiofor’s forehead are from a car crash when he was 11 years old.
… Sadly, his father was killed in the crash.

Chiwetel starred in Tom Hooper’s directorial debut: RED DUST.
… The film also stars Hilary Swank, and although it does not have many reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, the reviews are generally positive.

When he first read the script for 12 YEARS A SLAVE, Ejiofor’s immediate reaction was ‘Can I do this?’
… He accepted the role within 24 hours.

Chiwetel has directed two short films, called SLAPPER and COLUMBITE TANTALITE.
… Which means we may see him take a trip behind the camera for a feature length film in the future.

12 YEARS A SLAVE is in Irish cinemas from January 10th

Words: Brogen Hayes