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 official visiting the family's home marveled at the large bookcase stocked with books-Okonedo got her start through a writing workshop she took with renowned novelist and playwright, Hanif Kureishi (My Beautiful Laundrette, My Son the Fanatic). Though she had no desire to be a writer, Okonedo took the course because it was something interesting to do at night. She soon realized, however, that she was no good as a writer. But she was very good at reading other people's work aloud, which eventually led to her involvement with the Royal Court Theatre. From there she got a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), where she got her true start as an actress.