Nigerian-British actor, Chiwetel Ejiofor stars on the cover of British GQ’s Hype, the celebrated magazine’s free weekly edition that cuts across fashion, politics, travel and other topics.
For this week’s issue, the award-winning thespian talks about shooting the “Doctor Strange” sequel, his immortal adventuring in new graphic novel adaptation “The Old Guard“, his passion for the Black Lives Matter movement and the exquisite poetry of seeing Charlize Theron wield a four-foot axe.
Read excerpts from his interview:
On his fresh perspective on life since the pandemic:
“At first, I feared the new normal… I’ve spent most of the pandemic up until now in New York and watching as at first denial hits, then comes the realisation of the severity of the situation. It was very discombobulating. But the human-animal adapts, we evolve; that’s the beauty of it. As time goes by one doesn’t feel quite so panicked or anxious.
The thing that has kept me awake at night, other than the obvious worries over the illness, is the feeling of, well, if everything is changing, am I part of that change? Do I need to engage with people, friends, family in a different way? How have I been utilising my time? For many years, being a working actor, I have existed and lived in a sort of bubble already, in my own permanent state of travelling isolation. So having this moment of reflection, of realising that there are people I can reach out to, has been huge for me.
Racism in the film industry and beyond:
“Anti-black racism has been one of the fundamental parts of modern history in the Western world. It is baked into the cake of the occidental world in a way that few other things are. It’s like the flour in the cake. And this anti-black racism is heightened by colonialism and by the slave trade. So the profitability of black and brown bodies has become essential to how the West has worked. Dismantling these systems is the work of several lifetimes – my life, yes, but also those that come after me.
The thing is it is very difficult to do this. All these systems need to survive is a sort of apathy from the white community. This is why these white supremacist power systems continue to be considered the norm. The white people, whether they’re good natured or whether they’re not, will by and large let it run. They won’t get involved. They won’t care about it enough. So, yes, white people will turn and say, ‘Oh, this is a terrible thing. Systematic racism is awful, isn’t it?’ but unless those same white people actually start to get involved, then the system will stay. This is why education is so important.
…My own grandfather, for example, worked for the Mining Corporation in the north of Nigeria as an accountant. So when he was alive he would have told you, firsthand, where the money went. It went straight to Whitehall, to the foreign office. Everyone on the ground knew the deal.
But today? The truth is purposefully obfuscated. Michael Gove recently mentioned not being critical of Britain in the education system – but this is just propaganda. And this is why people don’t know the background to certain statues or why people don’t understand that in a liberal democracy having statues of slave traders is an objective harm.”
His thoughts on the Black Lives Matter Movement:
“I think that this entire political class belongs to a different era. The idea of a professional politician doesn’t mean anything to me. Who would you want in charge? Perhaps, like me, you’d want a type of politician that isn’t working the system for continual political gain, but is someone who is more representative of the broader spectrum of multicultural Britain, someone from the grassroots.
The way the party system works, how people are elected to power, doesn’t seem vastly democratic to me. These men and women who all went to one or two schools and one or two universities seem desperately out of touch to most people.”
See more of Chiwetel’s interview on GQ Hype.
For more Editorials, follow us on Instagram @OnoBelloMedia @OBStreetStyle | Twitter: OnoBello | Facebook: OnoBello Magazine
Leave your views in comments box below