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FireflyChiwetel Ejiofor - A New Actor For Firefly’s ’Serenity’ - Spoilers
By Jumana Farouky
Wednesday 16 February 2005, by Webmaster
Sansa was halfway through an acting course at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama when a friend recommended her to the casting director working on Marco Bellocchio’s film, La Balia. At the time, she didn’t have the money to go to Rome for the audition. But a month later, Bellocchio still hadn’t found his heroine and Sansa, whose grandmother had sent her money to come home for Easter, was determined to seize the opportunity. After six auditions, she got the part. "She was just a girl when I chose her for La Balia," says Bellocchio, "with a delicacy, a modest beauty, almost old-fashioned. She was outside the canon of current beauty."
While Sansa’s sensuality makes her a natural choice for romantic leads, she’s also able to carry character roles: see her sensitive and tormented performance as Italian statesman Aldo Moro’s reluctant kidnapper in another Bellochio film, 2003’s Buongiorno, Notte (Good Morning, Night). But Sansa remains wary of the Magnani and Loren comparisons, and she’s confident enough about the future to take a break from moviemaking to spend time with her boyfriend in Paris. "You can get all wrapped up in this job," she says. "I don’t want to lose myself. I want to keep centered and remember to listen to what I really want." - By Mimi Murphy
Sitting in a London bar, his black leather jacket rubbing up against the brown leather couch, Chiwetel Ejiofor casts a potent spell. But don’t look at his hands. Because right now, the 27-year-old actor has hands like a girl - 2-cm-long nails brightly buffed and filed to an elegant curve. Ejiofor has just come from rehearsals for his latest project, The Kinky Boot Factory, a comedy in which he plays Lola, a sassy transvestite cabaret star. Press-on nails, his makeup team tell him, snap too easily, so Ejiofor’s grown his own, acquiring some useful expertise in applying cosmetics in the process. "I’ve learned that wet nail polish gets everywhere," he says. "And you should always do your eye makeup first."
This stage-trained son of Nigerian refugees first turned heads in 2002, when Stephen Frears’ Dirty Pretty Things came out. Ejiofor’s intense, understated performance as Okwe, the Nigerian exile who discovers an organ-trading ring operating in London, lifted what might otherwise have been a routine thriller into high drama. This year he’ll be tough to avoid. In Woody Allen’s Melinda and Melinda, he plays a flirtatious pianist; in Red Dust, he stars alongside Oscar-winner Hilary Swank as a South African political activist called before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission; in sci-fi feature Serenity, he’s a hired killer. Looks like Ejiofor will have film audiences in the palm of his girlie hand.