Born in London to a Nigerian father and British mother, Sophie Okonedo never considered being an actress when she grew up, let alone an international star. A voracious reader all her life-a government...
|Scenes of a Sexual Nature||Actor||n/a||1|
|Tsunami: The Aftermath||Actor||Susie Carter||1|
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|Hotel Rwanda||Actor||Tatiana Rusesabagina||1|
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|The Beast Below||Actor||Liz 10||1|
|In the Presence of the Enemy||Actor||Eve Bowen||1|
|After Earth||Actor||Faia Raige||1|
|Young Soul Rebels||Actor||Tracy||1|
|Dirty Pretty Things||Actor||Juliette||1|
|The Secret Life of Bees||Actor||May Boatwright||1|
|Deep Secrets (1996-1997)||Actor||Honey||1996||1|
|Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls||Actor||Princess||1|
|Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker||Actor||Mrs Jones||1|
|This Year's Love||Actor||Denise||1|
|The Jackal||Actor||Jamaican Girl||1|
|Tsunami, The Aftermath (2005-2006)||Actor||Susie Carter||2005||1|
|Oliver Twist (2006-2007)||Actor||Nancy||2006||1|
|The 36th Annual NAACP Image Awards (2003-2004)||Actor||Presenter||2003||1|
|Season: 1||Actor||Amanda Roke||1|
|Starred opposite Don Cheadle, as his Tutsi wife in "Hotel Rwanda"; received SAG and Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actress|
|Cast in the British series "Never Never," for which she was nominated as Best Actress in a Television Drama by the Royal Television Society|
|Had a small role opposite Jim Carrey as The Wachati Princess in "Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls"; earned an MTV Movie Award nomination for the kiss she shared with Carrey|
|Played a key role as Juliette, the kind-hearted prostitute in Stephen Frears' "Dirty Pretty Things"; nominated for an Independent Spirit Award as Best Supporting Actress|
|Cast in "Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker" based on Stormbreaker, the first novel in the Alex Rider series|
|Began her career onstage with the Royal Shakespeare Company|
|Cast in a small role as the Jamaican Girl in "The Jackal," starring Bruce Willis and Richard Gere|
|Co-starred with British actor Michael Kitchen in the TV movie "Alibi"|
|Cast in the ensemble British romantic comedy called "This Year's Love"|
|Starred in the short lived British series " Sweet Revenge" (BBC)|
|Received recognition playing Cressida in Trevor Nunn's adaptation of Shakespeare's "Troilus and Cressida" at the Royal National Theatre|
|Co-starred with John Cusack in "The Martian Child"|
|Gave a memorable performance as the brave, resourceful story-teller in "Arabian Nights" at The Young Vic in London|
|Co-starred with Charlize Theron and Frances McDormand in the science-fiction action movie "Aeon Flux"|
|Played a young mother searching for her child in "Tsunami: The Aftermath" a two-part HBO/BBC joint production that dramatizes the events following the 2004 tsunami in Asia; received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Mini-Series or Television|
|Made film debut in Isaac Julian's "Young Soul Rebels"|
After a series of theatrical roles, including Shahrazad in "The Arabian Nights" and Anippe in Christopher Marlowe's "Tamburlaine the Great", Okonedo broke through with an acclaimed performance as Cressida in "Troilus and Cressida," staged by famed theatrical director Trevor Nunn for the National Theatre. Though the only Shakespeare role of her career, Okonedo earned high praise for her ability to project a tense ambiguity between love and passion. The success of her Cressida led the actress to British television: she appeared in episode 5 of "Clocking Off" (BBC-1, 2000), a six-part drama series about the secret lives of every day people; in "Never Never" (2000), she earned a Royal Television Society Award nomination for playing a single mom; and she appeared on "Spooks" (BBC-1, 2002- ), a popular series about Britain's domestic security agency that was presented across the Atlantic as "MI5" (A&E, 2004- ).
From British television, Okonedo made a quick jump to film. Though she had several thankless parts in major features, including two lines as a princess in "Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls" (1995), and as a nameless Jamaican Girl in "The Jackal" (1997), she made a deep impression with her characterization of a prostitute living in a rundown West London hotel in Stephen Frears' "Dirty Pretty Things" (2003).
She was then cast in her highest profile role to date as Tatiana Rusesabagina, the wife of a hotel manager (Don Cheadle), who houses 1200 Tutsi refugees fleeing the 1994 genocide in "Hotel Rwanda" (2004). Acclaim for both the film and its performances was bestowed by critics, as Okonedo received nominations from the Screen Actors Guild and Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actress. To prepare for the challenging role, Okonedo read Season of Blood: A Rwandan Journey, by Fergal Keane, then went to Brussels to meet the real-life Tatiana. The topic of the genocide was avoided-Okonedo asked about her relationship with Paul and what she liked to eat. The cultural leap of transforming herself from a London woman to a Rwandan refugee turned out to be her biggest challenge on the film, though two weeks of torrential rain and a sudden loss of financing were also on the list.
After "Hotel Rwanda," Okonedo returned to the Hollywood system and was cast in the long-awaited film version of the popular MTV series, "Aeon Flux" (2005)-the movie proved to be a disappointing failure on all fronts. But Okonedo rebounded with a moving performance in "Tsunami, the Aftermath" (HBO, 2006), an ensemble drama that depicted various stories involving the devastating 2004 tidal wave that destroyed large portions of Thailand and other parts of South Asia. Okonedo played a mother searching frantically with her husband (Chiwetel Ejiofor) for their 6-year-old daughter after the tsunami literally ripped her from their arms. She earned a nomination for a 2006 Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television.
|Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA)|
|". . . Sophie Okonedo traces a large arc from impish delight, bright-smiling and dimpling, to aimless misery. She handles the outer ambiguity and inner conflict of the role with intelligence and (slightly too much, but impressive) force; in a novel touch, the production ends on her alone, lost on stage as if cut off from her moorings. . ."---Alastair Macaulay on Sophie Okonedo performace in Troilus and Cressida in FINANCIAL TIMES, March 17, 1999.|
|"I just think of myself as a storyteller. That's how I started, and I've spent many, many years in the theatre doing that. I'm interested in what it is to be human, in the human condition, the human spirit."--- Sophie Okonedo quoted to The Toronto Sun, January 7, 2005.|
|"When I work, I tend to use instinct... I just act in the moment and see what happens... I don't particularly write things down. I write a few notes. But I figure that what sticks, sticks, and the rest isn't worth keeping."---Okonedo to Venice magazine, February 2005.|
|on the board of directors at the Royal Court Theater|
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