MCM: Chiwetel Ejiofor


I first remember him as the drag queen with a heart of gold in Kinky Boots, but then Chiwetel Ejiofor showed up all sexy and hot in ’30s suits in Dancing on the Edge. And then he was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar due to his wrenching performance in 12 Years a Slave. Hello, sir! We need you in more frock flicks! BBC, ITV, Hollywood, everybody, get on that, stat.


Peter in Mary Magdalene (2018)

Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mary Magdalene (2018)

As in, the biblical apostle.


Odenigbo in Half of a Yellow Sun (2013)

Chiwetel Ejiofor, Half of a Yellow Sun (2013)

Set during the 1960s Nigerian civil war.


Solomon Northup in 12 Years a Slave (2013)

Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave (2013)

The true story of a free black man who was abducted and sold into slavery.


Louis in Dancing on the Edge (2013)

Chiwetel Ejiofor, Dancing on the Edge (2013)

A six-part miniseries about a black Jazz band’s rise to fame in 1930s London.


Christmas Moultrie in Savannah (2013)

Chiwetel Ejiofor, Savannah (2013)

“Drama about the friendship between an Oxford-educated Southerner and a former black slave in turn-of-the-century Savannah,” per IMDB.


Lola in Kinky Boots (2005)

Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kinky Boots (2005)

Not historical but, c’mon, it’s drag, how could I resist???


Ensign Covey in Amistad (1997)

Chiwetel Ejiofor, Amistad (1997)

A mutiny aboard a slave ship traveling to America is settled by the U.S. Supreme Court.


What’s your favorite historical costume movie or TV role of Chiwetel Ejiofor’s? What kind of frock flick would you like to see him next?


About the author

Trystan L. Bass

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A self-described ElderGoth, Trystan has been haunting the internet since the early 1990s. Always passionate about costume, from everyday office wear to outrageous twisted historical creations, she has maintained some of the earliest online costuming-focused resources on the web. Her costuming adventures are chronicled on her website, TrystanCraft. She also ran a popular fashion blog, This Is CorpGoth, dedicated to her “office drag.”

26 Responses

  1. Marliese

    It’s not historical, but my intro to the awesomeness that is Chiwetel was Serenity. No matter the setting, he has such an elegance of delivery!

    • Barb D.

      Thank you, I was trying to remember what I know him from. His voice is mesmerizing.

  2. ctrent29

    I’ve seen him in “Dancing on the Edge”, “12 Years a Slave” and “Amistad”. I also saw him in “American Gangster”, which was set in the early 1970s. You forgot.

    Ejiofor looked great in “Dancing on the Edge”, but I thought the miniseries itself was a bit pretentious.

  3. Alys Mackyntoich

    He’s my go-to guy right now for Benjamin January / Janvier in my hypothetical cast of the TV mini-series of “A Free Man of Color”

    • Alys Mackyntoich

      Which, to be clear, is not a thing that IS happening, just a thing that I want very badly to happen.

      • Lady Hermina De Pagan

        See, if they decide to cast a black James Bond, he is my pick hands down. He has the elegance, sexual ambiguity, and dangerous edge that would make a perfect Bond.

        • anon

          Oh what a great idea. Never thought of it but a makes a hole lot more sense than any of the other current contenders. I’d like it!

        • Trystan L. Bass

          Idris Elba has been in the Bond chatter bec. he’s done a few action flicks, I guess, but I agree, Ejiofor has a touch more of Bond’s elegance.

        • Donnalee

          He certainly looks sharp in a suit, or do they not have the Bonds wear them anymore? I haven’t seen one in years–

    • Mary Fields

      I just received that book through holds at my library! I’m looking forward to read it. I ordered it because I’ve seen you mention it with such passion and devotion on here. Plus I am a fan of excellent historical fiction that portrays people of color well.

  4. Sam Marchiony

    His Louis look makes me want to see him play Duke Ellington. But knowing that he’s playing Scar in the Lion King remake also kind of makes me want to see him as Hannibal in a movie about the Punic Wars (don’t ask how my brain got there, I just have a feeling that such a film would be an excuse for him to get his shirt off).

  5. Roxana

    How can a man like that look so convincing as a woman? Seriously, major estrogen bait – yet he looks good in a dress and wig.

    • Rachel

      “Burgundy. Please, God, tell me I have not inspired something burgundy!
      Red. Red! Is the color of sex! Burgundy is the color of hot water bottles!”

      • Mary Fields

        That is one of my favorite movie scenes of all time! I think of it whenever someone says their favorite color is burgundy and I laugh to myself.

  6. JO

    Kinky Boots is one of my “if it’s on, I must watch it” movies, and Mr. Ejiofor will always be Lola to me. I was disappointed in his underusage in several films that had more promise for him, like Talk to Me and Doctor Strange. He’s done so many works with real depth. Dirty Pretty Things was probably the first film of his I saw, and from that, I will always expect a good turn from him.

  7. Lynn A Anderson

    Not a period piece, but I loved him in “The Martian” as Vincent Kapoor. He nailed it!

    • Boxermom

      Agree! You would think that he’d be a household name, but if I mention his name to anyone they look at me like I’ve got three heads.

      • Roxana

        Maybe because they don’t know how it’s pronounced? Unless it’s ‘Che-wetel Eh-jofor’ I’m doing it wrong.

  8. Lily Lotus Rose

    Like a few others here, I think his sexiest role was in “Serenity,” which isn’t mentioned in your post because it’s not a historical costume drama. In answer to your question, I would like to see Chiwetel in ANYTHING! Fans self…!! Seriously, I think he’d be an excellent Hamlet, an intriguing Petrucchio in “The Taming of the Shrew” if played against the right Katharina (Emily Mortimer, maybe?), and I think he would make one hell of a Lord Capulet in “Romeo and Juliet.”