My Mentor: Chiwetel Ejiofor


The Oscar-nominated 12 Years a Slave star recalls an inspirational teacher


Ed Wilson had a massive impact on my life. 

He ran the National Youth Theatre from 1987 to 2004. He had such passion. So many of us back then at the theatre – Daniel Craig, Matt Lucas, David Walliams – worked with Ed. He was a major influence on my life, my artistic pursuits, not only in theatre but my life around it, too.

He was an inspirational person with an extraordinary belief in young people.Julius CaesarOthello


There was one moment with Ed that really stands out…OthelloOthello


Ed is someone that all of his students miss.

I was [at the National Youth Theatre] for three summers before going to drama school at 19. I kept in contact with Ed until he died in 2008. He always came to see the shows I did. There was a sense of being part of a wider artistic community and tradition, which was empowering and exciting. 

He still inspires me, and he always will.

He was very formidable, impassioned and engaging – an extraordinary person to have met and worked with.

See Ejiofor in a short film to promote The Venture (, a competition for social entrepreneurs launched by Chivas with a $1m prize fund


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