Edi Gathegi: I’ve worked hard to win in Hollywood
12 months ago, 30 Dec 21:51
For more than a decade Edi Gathegi, a Kenyan native has been steadily building a career for himself in Hollywood, landing roles in blockbuster movies and hit television series that have catapulted him into global fame. However, this week the 38-year-old actor returned to Kenya – his third visit to the country – to holiday and get back to his “roots”. “I’m inextricably bound to my roots, I know exactly where I came from and you can’t take that out of yourself,” he told Lifestyle in an interview. GONE BABY GONE It is also a perfect time to meet the legions of his adoring fans and thank them for their support. “I’ve worked so much this year that I made this into a holiday, and when I realised people follow my work here we decided to do interviews,” he said. Since 2006, Gathegi has been landing coveted roles in television and film, most notable being X Men: First Class, Gone Baby Gone and the Twilight movie franchise which grossed over one billion dollars. However, it is his roles in television programmes like acclaimed crime thriller show The Blacklist which earned him a main role in the spin off Blacklist: Redemption. He is also cast in another crime thriller called Startup where he is the main character. Like every other actor of colour in Hollywood where diversity is a major issue, Gathegi has had to chase for roles and fight for them with equally good and accomplished actors. So what does it feel like to be a Kenyan American actor in Tinseltown? “No matter who you are, what you are made out of or where you come from, this industry respects hard work, so if you’re willing to put in the hard work you are going to get somewhere. And how far you go or get is just a matter of fate, chance, luck and God,” he said. PLUNGED INTO DEPRESSION Gathegi was born in Nairobi on March 10, 1979. One of three children, Gathegi’s family moved to the United States when he was young and settled in Albany, California. As an undeclared undergraduate at the University of California, Santa Barbara, he was more interested in playing basketball and was good at it, until he injured his knee. This plunged him into depression and, so he took up an acting class as an “easy course”, but eventually dropped out of college. But this turned out to be a blessing in disguise as this is how he discovered his love for acting. Gathegi started his acting career with his involvement in theatre. He worked in plays which include Othello, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Two Trains Running and the Twelfth night. He graduated from New York University in 2005 and landed his first major role the following year, appearing as a Haitian Cabbie in Crank, staring British actor Jason Statham and actress Amy Smart. The young actor quickly earned roles alongside Hollywood A-listers, performing opposite Kevin Bacon in Death Sentence and as Cheese ...
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