Skip to main content

Peeking Behind the Doors of Seismic Change: Televisionary Talks to "Endgame" Star Chiwetel Ejiofor

Golden Globe nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor is perhaps best known for his work in such diverse films as American Gangster, Dirty Pretty Things, Serenity, Love Actually, Redbelt, and Kinky Boots. The British actor has made a career of playing deeply complex individuals, from cross-dresser Lola in Kinky Boots to Dirty Pretty Things' cab driver and former doctor Okwe.

In PBS' gripping apartheid thriller Endgame, which airs Stateside this Sunday as part of the new season of Masterpiece Contemporary, Ejiofor, recently appointed an OBE by Queen Elizabeth, plays South African political figure Thabo Mbeki, a key player in secret negotiations between the African National Congress and the South African government that were brokered by Consolidated Goldfields. Remarkably these talks resulted in an end to apartheid in South Africa and Endgame, written by Paula Milne and directed by Pete Travis, dramatize the secret talks, which occurred at Mells Park, an estate in England.

In addition to Ejiofor, the cast includes William Hurt (Damages) as Professor Will Esterhuyse, Jonny Lee Miller (Eli Stone, Trainspotting) as British businessman and negotiator Michael Young, Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes) as Dr. Barnard, head of the South African National Intelligence Service, Derek Jacobi (Gosford Park) as Michael Young’s boss Rudolf Agnew, and Clarke Peters (The Wire) as Nelson Mandela.

I recently caught up with Ejiofor to discuss Endgame, Mbeki, and whether diplomacy can affect sweeping political and social change. You can watch the video of our interview, conducted at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour, below.



Endgame airs Sunday night at 9 pm as part of Masterpiece Contemporary on PBS. Check your local listings for details.

Comments

Beckacheck said…
Wow, this movie looks like it's going to suck.
If only it had someone talented in it . . .

:o)
I have really missed Masterpiece Contemporary.
I absolutely love Chiwetel Ejiofor.
And I'll follow Lester Freamon anywhere.
Stephen said…
Chiwetel Ejiofor is insanely talented. Thanks for the great interview. I'm looking forward to seeing him (and the rest of the incredible cast) in Endgame.

Popular posts from this blog

Katie Lee Packs Her Knives: Breaking News from Bravo's "Top Chef"

The android has left the building. Or the test kitchen, anyway. Top Chef 's robotic host Katie Lee Joel, the veritable "Uptown Girl" herself (pictured at left), will NOT be sticking around for a second course of Bravo's hit culinary competition. According to a well-placed insider, Joel will "not be returning" to the show. No reason for her departure was cited. Unfortunately, the perfect replacement for Joel, Top Chef judge and professional chef Tom Colicchio, will not be taking over as the reality series' host (damn!). Instead, the show's producers are currently scouring to find a replacement for Joel. Top Chef 's second season was announced by Bravo last month, but no return date has been set for the series' ten-episode sophomore season. Stay tuned as this story develops. UPDATE (6/27): Bravo has now confirmed the above story .

Me Want Food: Jenna Gets Famously Fat on "30 Rock"

I don't know about you, but I've already ordered my "Me Want Food" t-shirt from the NBC store. Last night's episode of 30 Rock ("Jack Gets in the Game") was, in my opinion, one of the strongest of the series and has officially pushed the zany comedy into the realm of Arrested Development : deftly plotted and intricately layered, with so many jokes piled atop of jokes that it requires several viewings in order to catch them all. While at its heart, 30 Rock is a workplace comedy, it's left that narrow pigeonhole behind to become a witty example of how intelligent and taut humor can work (and flourish) on television... and exist in harmony with hilarious throwaways like the Thriller -inspired Werewolf Bar Mitzvah music video that would have done the AD crew proud. I want Will Arnett to appear on this series whenever possible. His gay exec Devin is hilarious, manipulative, and has an inexplicable weakness for Kenneth the Page, but he claims to have

"Gilmore" Guy: Who is New Showrunner David Rosenthal?

A few days later and I am still processing the news that Gilmore Girls showrunner Amy Sherman-Palladino--and her exceptionally talented husband, writer and producer Daniel Palladino-- announced their departure from the whip-smart drama after six seasons. The news wouldn't be such a blow, save for the fact that Gilmore Girls is as much about Amy and Daniel as it is about Lorelai and Rory. In their capable hands, the show explored a supremely complicated family dynamic through the beautiful friendship of mother and daughter Lorelai and Rory... and did so with smart dialogue usually found in a Nick & Nora film rather than on television. Zany subplots abounded as did quirky, beloved supporting characters. And now, after six seasons (including this most recent--and very shaky--season where Amy and Daniel wrote less episodes than usual), Amy and Daniel are passing on the showrunning torch to... Dave Rosenthal?!? For those of you in the audience unfamiliar with David Rosenthal ,