Chiwetel Ejiofor (born 10 July 1974 in London) is an award-winning British actor. Born in London's Forest Gate to Nigerian parents, Ejiofor started acting in school plays at the age of 13 at Dulwich College. He debuted in Steven Spielberg's 1997 film Amistad. He has recently portrayed Ellis, a pianist in Woody Allen's 2004 film Melinda and Melinda, as well as The Operative in Joss Whedon's Serenity. He took the lead in the 2005 film Kinky Boots. Ejiofor is also a Shakespearean actor often taking the leading male roles such as in Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet. It was for his role as Romeo that he was nominated for the Ian Charleson Award in 2000. He was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Theatre Award in 2001 (2000 season) for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Blue/Orange at the Royal National Theatre, Cottesloe stage. He was awarded the Jack Tinker Award for Most Promising Newcomer at the 2000 London Critics Circle Theatre Awards (Drama) for his performance in Blue/Orange performed at the Royal National Theatre: Lyttelton and later at the Duchess Theatre. He was awarded the 2000 London Evening Standard Theatre Award for Outstanding Newcomer for his performance in Joe Penhall's acclaimed play Blue/Orange.