Next Friday, the science fiction drama Z For Zachariah arrives in theaters and one of the film’s main cast is British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor. Two years ago, Ejiofor was nominated for a Golden Globe and Oscar for his riveting performance as Solomon Northup in 12 Years A Slave, and he’ll appear in the film adaptation of The Martian out later this year. In 2016, he’s set to star in the Marvel film Doctor Strange as Baron Mordo. As Ejiofor continues to make his mark in cinema, he’s definitely one fans ought to keep their eye on. Get to know the actor with these 10 interesting facts:
1. A death in the family
When he was 11, Ejiofor and his dad were involved in a horrific car crash after returning from a wedding in Nigeria. The actor’s father was killed, while Ejiofor was badly injured. He has scars on his forehead that are still visible.
2. Spielberg moment
At the age of 13, Ejiofor joined the National Youth Theatre and then won a scholarship to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. He left after a year when he got a role in Steven Spielberg’s Amistad, at age 19.
3. Favorite films
Raging Bull, The Godfather, Fargo, Miller's Crossing, and Do the Right Thing are Ejiofor’s favorite films.
4. A prestigious award
In 2008, he received the prestigious Order of the British Empire award from Queen Elizabeth herself. The award honored his contribution to drama.
5. Golden Globes
Despite the attention he got for his role in 12 Years A Slave, Ejiofor had previously earned 3 Golden Globe nominations. He has a total of 5 Golden Globe nominations.
6. Range of films
Ejiofor has been in variety of films which include his role as taxi-driver Okwe in Dirty Pretty Things, playing the drag queen Lola in Kinky Boots, and his roles in big blockbusters Children of Men, Salt, and 2012.
7. Favorite book
Ejiofor’s favorite book is Primo Levi’s Other People's Trades.
8. What he does on his off days
In his spare time, the actor enjoys sailing and spending time in the outdoors.
9. Making the band
During the early 1990s, the actor sung back-up vocals for a band Blind. You can see him singing above in the film Kinky Boots.
10. Writer and director
In 2013, Ejiofor wrote and directed a short film for the Young Vic and Guardian newspaper called Columbite Tantalite. The film dealt with the precious minerals found in the Democratic Republic of Congo.