Jeffrey Wright

  (Redirected from Jeffrey Wright (actor))

Jeffrey Wright (born December 7, 1965) is an American actor. He is best known for his Tony, Golden Globe, and Emmy winning role as Belize in the Broadway production Angels in America and its acclaimed HBO miniseries adaptation. He also starred as Jean-Michel Basquiat in Basquiat, Felix Leiter in the James Bond films Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace and No Time to Die, Valentin Narcisse in the HBO series Boardwalk Empire, and Beetee in The Hunger Games films. Since 2016, Wright has starred as Bernard Lowe and Arnold Weber in the HBO series Westworld. Wright will portray Commissioner James "Jim" Gordon in the superhero film The Batman (2022) by Matt Reeves.

Jeffrey Wright
Jeffrey Wright by Gage Skidmore 3.jpg
Wright in 2019
Born (1965-12-07) December 7, 1965 (age 54)
Alma materAmherst College (BA)
OccupationActor
Years active1990–present
Spouse(s)
(m. 2000; div. 2014)
Children2

Early lifeEdit

Wright was born in Washington, D.C., the son of Barbara Evon (Whiting), a customs lawyer, and James Charles Wright, Jr., who died when he was a child.[1][2] He graduated from St. Albans School and attended Amherst College, receiving a bachelor's degree in political science and planned to attend law school; however, he chose to study acting instead. After attending New York University for two months, he left to become a full-time actor.[1]

CareerEdit

Wright began appearing off-Broadway in New York City and Washington DC, and in 1990, he appeared in his first major film as an attorney in Presumed Innocent, which starred Harrison Ford. In 1991, Wright joined John Houseman's national touring repertory company The Acting Company with productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream and Athol Fugard's Blood Knot. In 1993 and 1994, he appeared as Norman "Belize" Arriaga in Tony Kushner's award-winning play Angels in America. His portrayal of a gay nurse forced to take care of Roy Cohn as he dies of AIDS won him the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play.

In 1996, Wright portrayed painter Jean-Michel Basquiat in the film Basquiat, to critical acclaim. Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, Wright appeared in both leading and supporting roles in such films as Celebrity (1998), Ride with the Devil (1999), Shaft (2000), and Boycott (2001), where he gave an AFI Award-winning performance as Martin Luther King Jr. In 2003, Wright reprised his role as Norman "Belize" Arriaga in HBO's award-winning adaptation of Angels in America. His performance garnered him an Emmy award as well as a Golden Globe award for Best Supporting Actor in a miniseries. In 2004, he appeared in Jonathan Demme's remake of The Manchurian Candidate. In February 2005, Wright returned to HBO Films in Lackawanna Blues. He also guest starred on The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles and Homicide: Life on the Street.

Among his other film roles was Washington attorney Bennett Holiday in Syriana (2005). The same year, he played Bill Murray's eccentric Ethiopian neighbor Winston in Broken Flowers. In 2005, he starred in the play This Is How It Goes. He also appeared as one of the tenants in Lady in the Water. In 2006, Wright was featured as Felix Leiter in the James Bond movie Casino Royale. He reprised the role in Quantum of Solace and will do so again in the upcoming Bond movie No Time to Die due out in April 2021.[3]

 
Wright at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 28, 2007.

In 2007, Wright starred in the alien invasion suspense thriller The Invasion. In 2008, he portrayed Colin Powell in W. He portrayed Muddy Waters in Cadillac Records, a biopic, loosely based on the rise and fall of Chess Records. In 2010, Wright played Jacques Cornet in the world premiere run of A Free Man of Color at the Vivian Beaumont Theater of the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts in New York City.

Wright plays Beetee in The Hunger Games film series, starting with The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, released in November 2013. He also landed the role of Dr. Valentin Narcisse in season 4 of Boardwalk Empire, starting in the fall of 2013.[4] Wright was nominated for three Emmys for his performance as Bernard Lowe in HBO's Westworld.[5]

In March 2017, Wright appeared in a commercial for Dell Technologies.[6]

In 2018, Wright produced the HBO documentary We Are Not Done Yet, which gives voice to war veterans who, through a USO-sponsored arts workshop at Walter Reed National Military Hospital, discover the power and healing of shared experience to unite and find resilience in the face of post-traumatic stress.[7] That same year, Wright starred in HBO’s O.G., a film about a man confronting his past crime and preparing to leave prison after decades behind bars.[8] The film was directed by Madeleine Sackler, and was uniquely filmed entirely in Pendleton Correctional Facility near Indianapolis, Indiana.[9] The film was not only shot in a working prison, many prisoners and staff were recruited as actors for the film, including Wright’s co-star, Theotus Carter, who plays Beecher, a younger prisoner that Louis, (Wright’s character) takes under his wing, which threatens Louis' release date.[10] During shooting Wright was sometimes mistaken for a prisoner by other real prisoners and guards. The film debuted on HBO on February 25, 2019.[11] Nick Paumgarten of The New Yorker said, "The performances are exceptionally strong, both by the free-to-leave professional actors (especially Jeffrey Wright, who plays Louis, the 'O.G.' of the title, an older inmate on the verge of release) and by the incarcerated neophytes."[12] Ben Kenigsberg of the New York Times said, "Jeffrey Wright gives a rich, imposing performance as the former 'mayor' of Pendleton Correctional Facility."[13]

Wright starred in the video game The Last of Us Part II as Isaac, the leader of the Washington Liberation Front. The game was released on June 19, 2020.[14]

Personal lifeEdit

Wright married actress Carmen Ejogo in August 2000. They had a son named Elijah and a daughter named Juno and lived in Brooklyn, New York.[15][16][17][18] They have since divorced.[19]

In 2004, Wright received an honorary degree from his alma mater, Amherst College.[20]

FilmographyEdit

FilmEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1990 Presumed Innocent Prosecuting Attorney
1992 Jumpin' at the Boneyard Derek
1996 Faithful Young Man
Basquiat Jean-Michel Basquiat
1997 Critical Care Bed Two
1998 Too Tired to Die Balzac Man
Celebrity Greg
Meschugge Win
Blossoms and Veils Ben
1999 Cement Ninny
Ride with the Devil Daniel Holt
2000 Hamlet Gravedigger
Crime and Punishment in Suburbia Chris
Shaft Peoples Hernandez
2001 Ali Howard Bingham
2002 D-Tox Jaworski
2004 Sin's Kitchen Rex
The Manchurian Candidate Al Melvin
2005 Broken Flowers Winston
Syriana Bennett Holiday
2006 Lady in the Water Mr. Dury
Casino Royale Felix Leiter
2007 The Invasion Dr. Stephen Galeano
Blackout Nelson Also producer
2008 W. Colin Powell
Quantum of Solace Felix Leiter
Cadillac Records Muddy Waters
2009 One Blood Dan Clark Also producer
2011 Source Code Dr. Rutledge
The Ides of March Senator Thompson
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close William Black
2013 Broken City Carl Fairbanks
A Single Shot Simon
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Beetee
The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete Henry
2014 Ernest & Celestine Grizzly Judge (voice)
Only Lovers Left Alive Dr. Watson
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 Beetee
2015 The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2
The Good Dinosaur Poppa Henry (voice)
2018 Monster Mr. Harmon
The Public Mr. Anderson
Game Night FBI Agent Ron Henderson Uncredited[21]
Age Out Detective Portnoy
O.G. Louis
Hold the Dark Russell Core
2019 The Laundromat Malchus Irvin Boncamper
The Goldfinch James "Hobie" Hobart
2020 All Day and a Night J.D.
2021 No Time to Die Felix Leiter Post-production
2022 The Batman James Gordon Filming
TBA The French Dispatch Roebuck Wright Post-production

TelevisionEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1991 Separate but Equal William Coleman Television movie
1993 The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles Sidney Bechet 2 episodes
1994 New York Undercover Andre Foreman Episode: "Garbage"
1997 Homicide: Life on the Street Hal Wilson 3 episodes
2001 Boycott Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Television movie
2003 Angels in America Norman "Belize" Arriaga / Mr. Lies /
Homeless Man / The Angel Europa
6 episodes
2005 Lackawanna Blues Mr. Paul Television movie
2007 American Experience Narrator Episode: "New Orleans"
2012 House Dr. Walter Cofield Episode: "Nobody's Fault"
2013–14 Boardwalk Empire Valentin Narcisse 11 episodes
2016 The Venture Brothers Think Tank (voice) Episode: "Tanks for Nuthin"
Confirmation Charles Ogletree Television movie
BoJack Horseman Cuddlywhiskers / Father (voice) 3 episodes
2016–present Westworld Bernard Lowe / Arnold Weber Main role
2017 She's Gotta Have It Purple "ITIS" Voice (voice) Episode: "#NolasChoice (3 DA HARD WAY)"
2019 Sesame Street Bernard Lowe Segment: "Respect World"
Green Eggs and Ham McWinkle (voice) 13 episodes
Rick and Morty Tony (voice) Episode: "The Old Man and the Seat"
2020 Finding Your Roots Himself Episode: "This Land is My Land"[22]
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah Narrator Episode dated 28 August 2020
2021 What If...? The Watcher (voice) [23]

Video gamesEdit

Year Title Role Notes
2020 The Last of Us Part II Isaac Dixon (voice) Also motion capture

AwardsEdit

Year Award Category Work Result
2002 AFI Awards AFI Actor of the Year – Male – Movie or Mini-Series Boycott Won
2005 Black Movie Awards Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role Syriana Nominated
2002 Black Reel Awards Network/Cable – Best Actor Boycott Nominated
2004 Television: Best Supporting Actor Angels in America Won
2005 Best Supporting Actor The Manchurian Candidate Nominated
2006 Best Supporting Actor – Television Lackawanna Blues Won
Best Supporting Actor Syriana Nominated
2008 Cadillac Records Won
Best Ensemble Won
2016 Outstanding Voice Performance The Good Dinosaur Nominated
2017 Outstanding Supporting Actor – Drama Westworld Nominated
2018 Outstanding Actor – Drama Westworld Nominated
2012 Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards Best Acting Ensemble The Ides of March Nominated
2007 Chicago International Film Festival Career Achievement Award Won
2004 Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Angels in America Won
1997 Independent Spirit Awards Best Debut Performance Basquiat Nominated
2006 Best Supporting Male Broken Flowers Nominated
2002 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special Boycott Nominated
2006 Lackawanna Blues Nominated
2009 Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture Cadillac Records Nominated
2012 Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture The Ides of March Nominated
2004 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie Angels in America Won
2017 Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Westworld Nominated
2018 Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
2020 Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
2005 San Diego Film Critics Society Awards Best Supporting Actor Broken Flowers Won
2002 Satellite Awards Best Actor in a Miniseries or Television Film Boycott Nominated
2004 Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries or Television Film Angels in America Nominated
2004 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie Angels in America Nominated
2017 Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Westworld Nominated
1994 Tony Awards Best Featured Actor in a Play Angels in America: Perestroika Won
2002 Best Actor in a Play Topdog/Underdog Nominated
2000 Toronto Film Critics Association Awards Best Supporting Performance, Male Shaft (tied with Tobey Maguire for Wonder Boys) Won
2017 Saturn Awards Best Supporting Actor on a Television Series Westworld Nominated
2019 Best Actor on a Television Series Nominated

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Jeffrey Wright". The New York Times. 2010. Archived from the original on November 10, 2015. Retrieved June 2, 2017.
  2. ^ Stated on Finding Your Roots, January 14, 2020
  3. ^ Meza, Ed; Siegel, Tatiana (January 2, 2008). "'Bell' man takes on Bond". Variety. Retrieved January 2, 2008.
  4. ^ Moaba, Alex (March 6, 2013). "Jeffrey Wright Joins 'Boardwalk Empire' And More Casting News". HuffPost.
  5. ^ "Jeffrey Wright". Television Academy.
  6. ^ Matyszczyk, Chris (March 26, 2017). "Is Dell claiming it's better than all that Apple magic?". CNET.
  7. ^ Simkins, J. D. (2018-11-15). "New HBO documentary puts a much-needed face to complex veteran struggles with PTSD". Military Times. Retrieved 2020-03-03.
  8. ^ "I'm in Prison—And on HBO". The Marshall Project. 2019-03-01. Retrieved 2020-08-26.
  9. ^ Travers, Ben; Travers, Ben (2019-02-23). "'O.G.' Review: Jeffrey Wright Awes in a Meditative HBO Film Shot in a Working Prison". IndieWire. Retrieved 2020-08-26.
  10. ^ Smith, Jamil; Smith, Jamil (2019-02-22). "Inside Man: 'O.G.' Star Jeffrey Wright on Life Behind Bars". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2020-08-26.
  11. ^ Travers, Ben; Travers, Ben (2019-02-28). "Jeffrey Wright Made 'O.G.' in a Working Prison to Show the Thin Line Between Us and Them". IndieWire. Retrieved 2020-08-26.
  12. ^ Paumgarten, Nick. "The Première of "O.G.," the Film Made Inside an Indiana Prison". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2020-08-26.
  13. ^ Kenigsberg, Ben (2018-04-17). "17 Movies to Enjoy for the Tribeca Film Festival's 17th Edition". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-08-26.
  14. ^ Hawkins, Josh (June 22, 2020). "The Last of Us Part 2 voice actors and cast". Shacknews.
  15. ^ "Jeffrey Wright Biography (1965?–)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2013-01-02.
  16. ^ "Carmen Ejogo: 'There's some kind of trauma at play'", The Independent, 4 September 2009 (retrieved 2 July 2015).
  17. ^ "Carmen, Elijah & Juno Wright" alittlemuse.com, 7 September 2011 (retrieved 2 July 2015).
  18. ^ "Actor Jeffrey Wright and family". bck online. August 31, 2009. Retrieved June 2, 2017.
  19. ^ Zahed, Ramin; "'Selma' allows Carmen Ejogo to play Coretta Scott King a second time", LATimes.com, 18 December 2014 (retrieved 26 December 2014).
  20. ^ Amherst Magazine Summer 2004: College Row Archived 2011-10-04 at the Wayback Machine Amherst Magazine, Summer 2004
  21. ^ Bramesco, Charles (September 27, 2018). "Jeffrey Wright on Hold the Dark: 'I Was Worn Out, Physically and Mentally'". Vulture. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  22. ^ https://www.pbs.org/weta/finding-your-roots/about/meet-our-guests/jeffrey-wright
  23. ^ Mancuso, Vinnie (July 20, 2019). "Marvel's 'What If?' Announces Massive Voice Cast of MCU Stars & Jeffrey Wright as The Watcher". Collider. Archived from the original on July 21, 2019. Retrieved August 20, 2019.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
David Hedison
Felix Leiter actor
2006 – present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Ben McKenzie
Commisioner Gordon actor
2021 – present