Chiwetel Ejiofor on Racism, Trayvon and Channeling Solomon Northup

The 12 Years a Slave star talks about the film.

Posted: 10/18/2013 08:45 AM EDT
Chiwetel Ejiofor

As the star of Steve McQueen's critically-acclaimed drama 12 Years a Slave, Chiwetel Ejiofor is at the center of the film that tops every must-see list of the year. The British-Nigerian actor talks to us about channeling Solomon Northup, the man whose compelling autobiography is the basis for the film, and dealing with the unflinching brutality of his story.

Ejiofor, an accomplished — and disarmingly handsome! — actor on both stage and screen, also comments on the Trayvon Martin tragedy and how he experiences racism today. And the actor gets adorably bashful when we bring up his (some would say inevitable) Oscar prospects. 

Watch the video below for more of our interview with Chiwetel Ejiofor, and see 12 Years a Slave when it hits theaters starting Friday, October 18.

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(photo: BET)

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