Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 28 January 2015

Ejiofor known by cab drivers now

Chiwetel Ejiofor is apparently known to cab drivers since being nominated for an Oscar
Chiwetel Ejiofor is apparently known to cab drivers since being nominated for an Oscar

Chiwetel Ejiofor's Half Of A Yellow Sun director has said now cab drivers know who he means when he mentions his old friend's name.

Biyi Bandele and 12 Years A Slave Oscar-nominated star Chiwetel had been friends for a long time and agreed to work on the adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie's book together six years before it was made.

The first-time director explained: "Chiwetel is an old friend and we'd been talking about making a movie in Nigeria for years. He read the book and he loved it and he was on board before I'd even written a single word of the script."

He continued: "When we shot this film he was a very busy actor, quite well known. Then he went from my set to the set of 12 Years A Slave which has garnered him awards all over the world and nominations and it's great.

"Now when I mention his name to cab drivers, they know who I'm talking about."

Chiwetel stars as Odenigbo alongside Thandie Newton as Olanna in the tale of the couple and two other central characters living through Nigeria's struggle to establish an independent republic, and both agreed Biyi had done a great job in adapting the screenplay.

Dancing On The Edge actor Chiwetel said: "It's always fascinating, the balance between the book itself and the adapted screenplay.

"I think Biyi did a remarkable job on this film, it's such a beautiful novel but it's also just so epic and there'd be no way of telling it in 100 odd pages, so Biyi had to do a lot to condense it but just to keep its beauty and its elegance and the epic nature of it and I think he did a terrific job."

Thandie added: "[I was a] huge fan of the book, I actually wondered how on earth they could possibly write a script, how they could adapt this story and he did a wonderful job, Biyi.

"That central relationship between Olanna and Odenigbo, it's just... I think it's a real modern classic actually."

Half Of A Yellow Sun is in cinemas now.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Nightlife Galleries


Latest Entertainment News

Latest Music News

Latest Film & TV News

Latest Eating Out News


Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant


Joining a discussion group will be lots of fun. You'll enjoy brainstorming with fellow visionaries. The idea for a community improvement project is worth developing. You and your neighbours will benefit from a beautiful gathering spot. It's easy to feel alienated in this technological age. Create a space where you can escape computers, telephones and artificial lighting. Don't be surprised when you feel compelled to visit this sanctuary every day. Spending time outdoors will make you more relaxed and productive.More