The celebration for Chiwetel Ejiofor’s first Oscar nomination is a family affair. The 12 Years A Slave star’s younger sister, CNN reporter Zain Asher, shared a tearful reaction to her brother’s exciting news during an on-air interview Thursday.
“Honestly, I could not sleep last night. I really couldn’t,” she said. “This was so emotional for me because — I’m going to try not to cry — this was a day that my family has really been hoping for and waiting for, for such a long time. Chiwetel — he’s been acting since he’s 13 years old and — oh my god! I told myself I wasn’t going to cry. I do feel so emotional now… Yesterday was very emotional for me, my mother, both of my brothers and sister.”
She went on to say that Chiwetel has “worked so hard for this.”
“Growing up with him he was always in his bedroom practicing Shakespeare lines and writing Shakespeare on the wall. I would go out with my friends and I would come home and in the morning he would be reciting Measure for Measure and in the evening it would be Othello,” she said.
“He’s someone who’s really dedicated and an actor’s actor,” she continued. “He’s been acting for over 20 years, and so to finally see recognition for his work — I can’t even describe the feeling.”
The 36-year-old English film star released a statement following his nomination, where he thanked Solomon Northup for sharing his story and the film’s cast for the life-changing experience.
“At no point during filming, in the sweltering heat of New Orleans, did any of us ever foresee the journey this film would take us all on. Steve McQueen created an entire family to tell one man’s tale and I am delighted that so many of this family have also been recognized today,” Chiwetel wrote. “I am hugely grateful to the Academy for this great honour, and, of course, to Solomon Northup for sharing his story through his breathtaking book.”
Asher revealed that her big brother has a few jitters for the big day on March 2.
“When we spoke last night he was a little bit nervous because there were just so many amazing people nominated this year,” she said. “There’s so many amazing actors and so he’s in good company.”
The slavery drama received a total of nine nominations for this year’s Academy Awards.
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2014 Golden Globes: The Best & Worst Dressed
1. 2014 Golden Globes: The Best & Worst Dressed
The first official red carpet of 2014 finally arrived and it did not disappoint. The 71st Annual Golden Globes brought out a sleek European-couture inspired theme. With gowns that indulged in sharp structures and fierce outlines, these starlets called on the best of the best to parade down the carpet tonight. Check out who rocked the red carpet, and who--maybe should have hired (or fired) a stylist.
2. Kerry Washington in Balenciaga
BEST: I don't know what I like more--Kerry's gown or her baby bump! Bravo.
3. Paula Patton in Charlotte Olympia
BEST: This is a daring fashion choice, but I'm in love with it.
4. Sofia Vergara in Zac Posen
SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE: I have yet to decide how I feel about this huge black "Wizard of Oz" inspired gown. Nope, not sure.
5. Lupita Nyong'o in Ralph Lauren
BEST EVER!: Lupita is not only the breakout star of 2013-2014, but she's positioning herself as a red carpet diva. She's done NO wrong with each appearance. #ADORE.
6. Gabourey Sidibe in custom Michael Costello
7. Angela Bassett
BEST: I mean can she get any more gorgeous? What kinda of water is she drinking?
8. Rashida Jones
WORST: Are those palm trees?
9. Usher Raymond
BEST: Well hello Mr.Raymond.
10. Zoe Saldana in Prabal Gurung
WORST: I know that reads Prabal Gurung, but it certainly looks like Gordon Gartrell?!
11. Rocsi Diaz in J. Mendel
WORST: I adore Rocsi, but this gown is ill-fitting and we've seen this entertainment reporter look way better.
12. Margot Robbie in Gucci
BEST: That slit, that pose--WERK!
13. Idris Elba & his girlfriend Naiyana Garth in Tiffany Rose
BEST: She's glowing, he's gorgeous--totes a win!