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Chiwetel Ejiofor on his work with the Benedicts of Marvels Doctor Strange

The old guard Chiwetel Ejiofor

Chiwetel Ejiofor stars with Charlize Theron in the Netflix movie The Old Guard.


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7;m so obsessed (subscribe here), our podcast with interviews with actors, artists, celebrities and creatives about their work, careers and current obsessions.

There is something absolutely fascinating about actor and filmmaker Chiwetel Ejiofor. When interviewing him via video chat for CNET’s “I’m So Obsessed” podcast, I tried to find out what fascinated me about him. It could have been his eyes that made me feel like looking into my soul, or his velvety voice. It could have been the fact that he is compassionate and that he has listened carefully to my questions and carefully considered his answers. Also, it could be that he has appeared in so many films that I like like Children of Men, Dirty Pretty Things, Kinky Boots, The Martian and doctor strange.

As I was looking at Ejiofor on my laptop screen, it occurred to me that I was speaking to someone who was nominated (and won a BAFTA) for their role in a Golden Globe, an Oscar, and a SAG award 12 years a slave and for an Emmy to dance on the sidelines. But at one point none of that mattered as Ejiofor and I discussed immortality and how it relates to his latest film. The old guardon Netflix.

“Stories and mythology have always cared about immortality as a concept,” said Ejiofor. “The kind of tree of life and the fountain of youth. But if you dig a little deeper into it, this really interesting question about the value of life and therefore essentially the value of death comes up.”

The Old Guard follows a handful of immortal humans, led by Charlize Theron’s character, who band together to survive centuries of civilization. It mixes beautiful action sequences with intoxicating philosophical themes about immortality, family, friendship and justice.

During our conversation, Ejiofor shared his relationship with Denzel Washington at Inside Man and American Gangster and his friendship with Benedict Cumberbatch and Benedict Wong Marvel’s doctor strange. In fact, Ejiofor tells a story about how he and Wong, who dated in multiple films, wanted to start a “Wong for Wong” casting campaign for Doctor Strange (Wong is the name of one of the characters) after Ejiofor won his role. Fortunately, Wong was cast shortly thereafter and they never had to.

Ejiofor also explained how one of the scariest things he did was dancing in 6-inch high-heeled boots on a runway for the movie Kinky Boots.

Listen to my entire conversation with Ejiofor over Spotify or Apple Podcasts. You can subscribe to I’m So Obsessed on your favorite podcast app. In each episode, I meet with an artist, actor, or creator to learn more about work, career, and current obsessions.

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