Format: Color, DVD, NTSC
Publisher: Monterey Home Video
Release Date: February 09, 2010
Running Time: 101 minutes
Studio: Monterey Home Video
Kam Williams: Hi Chewitel, thanks for the time. What brings you to New York?
Chiwetel Ejiofor: I'm just finishing up shooting Salt.
KW: Let me start by congratulating you on the Golden Globe nomination for
CE: Thank you very much.
KW: What interested you in the film?
CE: There were a number of things that excited me, starting with the historical context of what was happening in South Africa at the time. I remember being very affected by what was going on there towards the end of Apartheid. And the subject is still very pertinent, politically, to what's happening around the world today, in terms of negotiating peace talks. I had always been interested in this period of change in South Africa, generally, for a variety of reasons. And I specifically became fascinated by Endgame's taking you behind the curtain, and telling the story of the behind the scenes machinations between Thabo Mbeki and the Afrikaner government. That was incredibly eye-opening, and a story that I hadn't heard before. And Mbeki himself is such an interesting character. He played an instrumental role in changing the direction of the country, in putting the ANC [African National Congress] in a position to effectively govern.
KW: How did you like working with Pete Travis as a director? I loved his super-realistic docudrama Omagh about a terrorist bombing in a town in Northern Ireland.
CE: Great! He's a very engaging guy to work with. He has an amazing b.s. detector. His style is very different from anything I've ever done before. He really pushes for authenticity. He's very keen to get to the essence and the truth of the matter.
KW: Three of your films have made my Top 10 Lists: Dirty Pretty Things (2002), Love Actually (2003) and Kinky Boots (2005). What is it about your acting style that enables you to help elevate a project to be among the best?
CE: I don't know. When I read a script, I try to get right down to what I feel is the heart of it. In a sense, it doesn't matter what the subject is, and it doesn't have to be universal, as long as the story has something meaningful to say. Conversely, I've often had the fortune to work on projects with a small theme I find very interesting enough to pursue and to be passionate about in the context of the story, then it may turn out there's a universality about my character which still resonates with many people as well.
KW: Aspiring actor, Tommy Russell asks: Did your success as an actor build on itself, or has it been one thing here, one thing there and then boom you were suddenly getting good, consistent work?
CE: That's a good question. I started working as an actor, semi-professionally, when I was 16, and got my first professional gig at 19. I guess I've kind of worked pretty consistently since then. I started off doing plays as a theater actor. But I never thought of it in terms of it leading anywhere. I was just trying to be the best actor that I could be in the context of what I was doing.
KW: Laz Lyles asks, if you have one genre that you have a special affinity for?
CE: Well, I do like sci-fi. When I was a kid, I was always sort of locked into sci-fi stories. So, sci-fi has always had a special place in my heart.
KW: Is that what drew you to do 2012?
CE: I suppose so. I found a role in the movie, and was excited about the spectacle of the visual style envisioned for it by director Roland Emmerich.
KW: Speaking of directors, documentary filmmaker Hisani DuBose asks: How did you become an insider who constantly works?
CE: I've always enjoyed doing a huge variety of roles, which I think helps, instead of settling for the things I might be most comfortable with.
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