Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Ejiofor's Basking in Life on Mars

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Ejiofor's Basking in Life on Mars

Article excerpt

Byline: james mottram The Independent

IT'S 10am and Chiwetel Ejiofor is diligently undertaking a day's press for Ridley Scott's new sci-fi, The Martian.

"We've spoken before, haven't we?" he asks - and he's right, though it was a decade ago, when he played a transvestite in Kinky Boots.

Since then, he's worked with Spike Lee (Inside Man) and David Mamet (Redbelt), flirted with blockbusters like Salt and 2012, and starred in Steve McQueen's Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave.

Playing Solomon Northup, the free-born African-American kidnapped and sold into slavery, Ejiofor was marvellous, a pillar of dignity in the face of degradation.

The role won him a BAFTA and secured him a first Oscar nomination.

He eventually lost to Matthew McConaughey but even if he'd won, Ejiofor would probably not be all smiles and high-fives.

Triumph doesn't come easily to him.

"In those moments, I tend to get reflective as opposed to excited. I don't why that is, but it's always been the case," he says.

After the awards season finished, Ejiofor was done with it all.

"Maybe ready for something else and wondering what that something else will be."

Immediately, he was able to disappear to New Zealand and shoot Z for Zachariah, a post-apocalyptic three-hander co-starring Chris Pine and Margot Robbie.

If that was the perfect way to decompress, Ejiofor didn't run and hide.

He's soon to be seen as the lead opposite Julia Roberts and Nicole Kidman in the forthcoming remake of the Oscar-winning Argentinian thriller The Secrets in Their Eyes.

Then he'll be joining the Marvel Comics universe, co-starring with Benedict Cumberbatch in next year's Doctor Strange, playing the super-villain Baron Mordo.

In The Martian, Ejiofor slips effortlessly into an A-list ensemble that includes Jeff Daniels and Jessica Chastain.

Based on the novel by Andy Weir, the story sees Matt Damon's botanist astronaut Mark Watney stranded on Mars, after his colleagues believe him dead. …

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