Chiwetel Ejiofor was born to Nigerian parents in London. He followed his elder brother to the College where he fell in love with plays, appearing in Measure for Measure, Never the Sinner and The Importance of Being Earnest and working with the National Youth Theatre. He won a scholarship to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, and first appeared on television in Deadly Voyage in 1996. At 19, he made his film debut in Steven Spielberg's movie Amistad for which he won an award. In 2000, his performance as the schizophrenic patient Christopher in Joe Penhall's Blue/Orange at the National won widespread critical acclaim and both the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Outstanding Newcomer and the Jack Tinker Award for Most Promising Newcomer. In 2002 he won the Evening Standard Best Actor Award for his role as an illegal immigrant in Stephen Frears's film Dirty Pretty Things. Amy Raphael in The Observer wrote: "It doesn't happen very often. Perhaps once every few years. Maybe less. Along comes a young British actor with talent to take your breath away. There are plenty of good actors but few truly great ones. Even fewer whose magic works on both stage and screen". Since then, he has continued to act on the London stage, mixing it with television work and increasingly films, including Love Actually, Woody Allen’s Melinda and Melinda, Kinky Boots and Inside Man. He has also found time to come back to Dulwich College to give an acting workshop.