Chiwetel Ejiofor: Why You Should Remember His Name

Chiwetel Ejiofor: Why You Should Remember His Name
Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave
Jaap Buitendijk

updated 12/13/2013 at 02:00 PM EST

originally published 12/13/2013 03:30PM

Expect to hear a lot about Chiwetel Ejiofor (pronounced CHOO-it-tell EDGE-ee-o-for) in the next couple of months.

The London-born actor of Nigerian descent, 36, whose name means "God brings" in Igbo, received two Golden Globe nominations on Thursday. One for his role as Solomon Northup, a free man sold into slavery in 12 Years a Slave and the other for his work in STARZ's Dancing on the Edge. He also earned a Screen Actors Guild nomination on Wednesday.

One of his biggest supporters, who's expected to cheer him on this award's season, is Brad Pitt – his 12 Years a Slave costar and producer.

"I've spoken to him numerously and we'll chat in the next couple of days," Ejiofor tells PEOPLE. "He's always been so supportive of me and the film. Not only is he a terrific actor, but he's a superstar kind of guy. He's a loving and generous man. It was an honor and pleasure to have worked with him."



Now that he's becoming a household name, the Love Actually star's trips to the local cafe may become easier. Telling the barista his name when ordering a tea or coffee won't result into butchering his name.

"No, [I don't give a fake name]. I tell them my name and they try to figure it out," he told PEOPLE in October. "I get confused looks and sometimes they completely get it wrong. People incorrectly say my name all the time. It doesn't bother me at all. I'm very proud of name."
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