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.
Wright in 2019
|Born||December 7, 1965|
Washington, D.C., U.S.
|Alma mater||Amherst College (BA)|
(m. 2000; div. 2014)
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. 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.
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.
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. Wright was nominated for three Emmys for his performance as Bernard Lowe in HBO's Westworld.
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. 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. The film was directed by Madeleine Sackler, and was uniquely filmed entirely in Pendleton Correctional Facility near Indianapolis, Indiana. 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. During shooting Wright was sometimes mistaken for a prisoner by other real prisoners and guards. The film debuted on HBO on February 25, 2019. 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." Ben Kenigsberg of the New York Times said, "Jeffrey Wright gives a rich, imposing performance as the former 'mayor' of Pendleton Correctional Facility."
|1990||Presumed Innocent||Prosecuting Attorney|
|1992||Jumpin' at the Boneyard||Derek|
|1997||Critical Care||Bed Two|
|1998||Too Tired to Die||Balzac Man|
|Blossoms and Veils||Ben|
|Ride with the Devil||Daniel Holt|
|Crime and Punishment in Suburbia||Chris|
|The Manchurian Candidate||Al Melvin|
|2006||Lady in the Water||Mr. Dury|
|Casino Royale||Felix Leiter|
|2007||The Invasion||Dr. Stephen Galeano|
|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)|
|The Public||Mr. Anderson|
|Game Night||FBI Agent Ron Henderson||Uncredited|
|Age Out||Detective Portnoy|
|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|
|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
|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"|
|The Daily Show with Trevor Noah||Narrator||Episode dated 28 August 2020|
|2021||What If...?||The Watcher (voice)|||
|2020||The Last of Us Part II||Isaac Dixon (voice)||Also motion capture|
- "Jeffrey Wright". The New York Times. 2010. Archived from the original on November 10, 2015. Retrieved June 2, 2017.
- Stated on Finding Your Roots, January 14, 2020
- Meza, Ed; Siegel, Tatiana (January 2, 2008). "'Bell' man takes on Bond". Variety. Retrieved January 2, 2008.
- Moaba, Alex (March 6, 2013). "Jeffrey Wright Joins 'Boardwalk Empire' And More Casting News". HuffPost.
- "Jeffrey Wright". Television Academy.
- Matyszczyk, Chris (March 26, 2017). "Is Dell claiming it's better than all that Apple magic?". CNET.
- 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.
- "I'm in Prison—And on HBO". The Marshall Project. 2019-03-01. Retrieved 2020-08-26.
- 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.
- Smith, Jamil; Smith, Jamil (2019-02-22). "Inside Man: 'O.G.' Star Jeffrey Wright on Life Behind Bars". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2020-08-26.
- 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.
- Paumgarten, Nick. "The Première of "O.G.," the Film Made Inside an Indiana Prison". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2020-08-26.
- 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.
- Hawkins, Josh (June 22, 2020). "The Last of Us Part 2 voice actors and cast". Shacknews.
- "Jeffrey Wright Biography (1965?–)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2013-01-02.
- "Carmen Ejogo: 'There's some kind of trauma at play'", The Independent, 4 September 2009 (retrieved 2 July 2015).
- "Carmen, Elijah & Juno Wright" alittlemuse.com, 7 September 2011 (retrieved 2 July 2015).
- "Actor Jeffrey Wright and family". bck online. August 31, 2009. Retrieved June 2, 2017.
- Zahed, Ramin; "'Selma' allows Carmen Ejogo to play Coretta Scott King a second time", LATimes.com, 18 December 2014 (retrieved 26 December 2014).
- Amherst Magazine Summer 2004: College Row Archived 2011-10-04 at the Wayback Machine Amherst Magazine, Summer 2004
- Bramesco, Charles (September 27, 2018). "Jeffrey Wright on Hold the Dark: 'I Was Worn Out, Physically and Mentally'". Vulture. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
- 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.
- Jeffrey Wright at the Internet Broadway Database
- Jeffrey Wright on IMDb
- Jeffrey Wright at AllMovie
- HBO cast page for Angels in America
| Felix Leiter actor
2006 – present
| Commisioner Gordon actor|
2021 – present