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People Top 5
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- February 14, 2000
- Vol. 53
- No. 6
Carmen Ejogo Gets Historical as Thomas Jefferson's Slave Mistress, Sally Hemings
Ejogo, 26, lives alone in her bohemian-style London flat since ending a four-year relationship with actor Max Beesley. "I have to deal with [racism] on a real basic level," she says. "Cabs won't stop for me. The police stop my brother [Charles, 24, a law student] for driving a decent car. It disgusts me."
Ejogo was 11 when she won a bit part in a British film. But she got her big break at 22, cast as Eddie Murphy's love interest in 1997's Metro. Last June she snagged the role of Sally in an open audition. "Carmen is charming and sexy and delightful," says costar Sam Neill (Jefferson), "so the love scenes were a lot easier to do." Still, Ejogo is a bit uneasy these days about her sudden fame. "I'm seeing my face on the sides of buses," she says, "and it's a little weird."
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