Chiwetel Ejiofor has a name you probably can’t pronounce correctly, but you’ll definitely recognize his face. That’s because he’s starred in some of the biggest hit movies in recent Hollywood history. He’s even a part of the MCU and a seasoned stage actor, having played Othello and even performed in the Royal National Theatre. Check out the acclaimed filmography of Chiwetel Ejiofor.
Character: James Covey
Although a small part, this 1997 Steven Spielberg movie introduced us to Eliofor, along with Djimon Hounsou and others. We even get the start of a serious Matthew McConaughey.
9. The Lion King
Ejiofor stars as the villainous Scar in this 2019 live-action adaptation of the animated Disney classic. Donald Glover joins as Simba.
8. The Martian
Character: Dr. Vincent Kapoor
Another solid supporting role alongside Matt Damon.
Character: The Operative
The Operative is a villain in this 2005 movie based on the Firefly sci-fi series. As a top Alliance agent, he’s tasked with hunting down River Tam (Summer Glau), who’s hiding with her brother among the crew of the spaceship Serenity, captained by Wash (Alan Tudyk).
6. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
Character: Trywell Kamkwamba
Ejiofor’s directorial debut came in the form of this 2019 British drama he also headlines in a lead role. It’s a heartwarming tale of a young boy determined to build a wind turbine from the family’s only remaining asset – the village bicycle (and I don’t mean your mom).
5. Kinky Boots
Wanna see Ejiofor in drag? This 2005 British comedy delivers, as he joins Joel Edgerton, Nick Frost, Sara-Jane Potts, and Jemima Rooper as a drag queen helping a straight-laced factory owner save his business.
4. Dirty Pretty Things
Character: Okwe/Dr. Olusegun Olatokumbo Fadipe
This 2002 British thriller pairs Ejiofor with Audrey Tautou as two immigrants making their way through the trappings of modern London. It’s even more interesting to watch in a post-Brexit society filled with global nationalism.
3. Sherlock Gnomes
Character: Dr. Gnome Watson
This 2018 animated movie isn’t the most critically acclaimed, but it’s watchable and enjoyable. Ejiofor plays the humble assistant and trusted friend to Johnny Depp‘s Sherlock Gnomes.
2. Doctor Strange
Character: Baron Karl Mordo
This 2016 installment of the MCU franchise tells the origin story of Dr. Steven Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch). He trains in mystical forces to protect the time stone so well that he creates his own enemy out of jealousy, in the form of Mordo, played by Ejiofor. He’ll surely be a powerful force in the sequel.
1. 12 Years a Slave
Character: Solomon Northup
Ejiofor won a deluge of critical acclaim in 2013 for his portrayal of a free American man who is enslaved for 12 years and forced to work in servitude. It’s a painful reminder of a chapter in our history we may soon return to if we’re not careful.