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May 14 2008

Interview: Chiwetel Ejiofor on Redbelt, Serenity, and Watchmen. First Showing.net talks with Ejiofor about his career, his new movie and difference between making smaller movies like Kinky Boots vs a movie like Serenity with a huge fan base.

He just seems so cool. Like someone you would like to sit around your living room with and eat and drink and watch B movies with.
Wow, this interview is great. I've been a fan of his work for a while, but without really knowing anything about him. He seems like a very cool person.
And Redbelt was fantastic, by the way; I loved it.
"I'm going to see Watchmen, because it is an important document in my life because I remember the first time I read it, and I was like wow, that's amazing. And it changed my attitude towards the way that literature and graphic novelization could work.

Yeah, me too.

Nice interview, Lioness - good and long and substantial. I hadn't thought much about seeing Redbelt - but maybe I will. I knew nothing about Mamet's life, but if Ju-Jitsu is something that's such a part of his life - that he's passionate about - that sounds appealing, and added to Ejiofor's presence, that kinda tips it.

"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" (Who will watch the watchmen?) - - Kennedy Juvenal, ( ; >) Satire VI
Redbelt rocks in a way that should carry a lot of appeal to Joss Whedon fans, I think. The core of the story is individual passion versus greed and lax ethics, one man's devotion to principle facing others' willingness to use the pretense of those principles in pursuit of personal gain. It's about a lot of things, really, but that's (IMO) the heart of it. Sat very nicely with all the parts of me that (for example) Firefly speaks so personally to.

My only critique is that the ending is a bit pat, a bit simple. But it's also throw-up-the-horns and bang-your-head triumphant, so I can deal with that :)
Haven't done martial arts (judo in my case) since I was a kid but Ejiofor and Mamet together makes this pretty much a must see for me.

Great interview, sincere, interesting, smart answers which do absolutely nothing to reduce my impression that he's a very sincere, interesting, smart guy. Of his stuff not mentioned on there i'd also recommend "Tsunami: The Aftermath" BTW about the 2004 tsunami in the Indian ocean and how a British couple deal with their daughter going missing. Great performances from both leads.

He's clearly a full-on fan of comics/graphic-novels too - his comment about not wanting them to become storyboards for films is a position Alan Moore has mentioned in interviews which it seems Mr Ejiofor has most definitely read (note, i'm not saying he's ripping off other people's ideas, I just mean that he's clearly not just read graphic-novels, he's also read around graphic novels).

And if anyone's wondering BTW "route one" - mis-transcribed here as "root one" - is from football (with feet ;) and basically means a high lofting ball up the pitch into the opposition's penalty area which is then headed or kicked into the goal - in common usage it means a sort of simple, direct approach which lacks finesse but gets the job done.
Thanks, Saje, for the explanation of the mis-transcribed "root one." I puzzled over that for a moment, but I did get the gist of its meaning in context. Nice to know where it comes from, though.

And thanks, too, for mentioning Tsunami. I'm a little surprised that this film doesn't come up more often in discussions of his work. Perhaps it's just because it wasn't a theatrical release. But his acting in Tsunami was brilliant. It was the first thing I had seen him in after Serenity, and I was dumbfounded at his range.

This was a very interesting interview, and it was nice to have some more insight into one of the most talented actors out there. I haven't seen Redbelt, yet, but it's definitely on my to-do list. And I think he is well on his way to being an A-list actor, someone whom everyone will know in a couple of years.
It's just a shame that Redbelt did so badly at the box office.

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