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Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje

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Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje Thor 2 cropped.png
Akinnuoye-Agbaje at the Thor: The Dark World premiere, October 2013
Born (1967-08-22) 22 August 1967 (age 54)
Islington, London, England
Other names Adewalé, Triple A
Ethnicity Yoruba
Alma mater King's College London
University of London
Occupation Actor, fashion model, writer, director, producer
Years active 1993 – present

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (/ˌædˈwɑːl ˌækˈn. ɑːɡˈbɑː/; born 22 August 1967) is a British actor and former fashion model of Nigerian origin. He is best known for his roles as Lock-Nah in The Mummy Returns, Nykwana Wombosi in The Bourne Identity, Mr. Eko on Lost and Simon Adebisi on Oz. His more recent roles include Malko[1] in the fifth season of the HBO series Game of Thrones, Dave Duerson in the NFL biopic drama Concussion[2] and Killer Croc in the upcoming movie Suicide Squad.

Early life and career

Akinnuoye-Agbaje was born in Islington, London to Nigerian parents of Yoruba origin, who were students in the UK. He is fluent in several languages including Yoruba, Italian, and Swahili. He can "get along" in a few other languages, including French.[citation needed] When he was only six weeks old, his biological parents gave him up to a white working-class family in Tilbury. His foster parents had at least ten African children, including Akinnuoye-Agbaje's two sisters, living in their house at certain points. His foster father made a living as a lorry driver and struggled to support the family financially.[3]

Akinnuoye-Agbaje at a Red Cross benefit at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, 28 February 2007

When he was eight years old, his biological parents brought him back to Nigeria but, as he was unable to speak the Yoruba language and forbidden by his parents to speak English, he was returned to Tilbury shortly thereafter. The brief exposure to Nigeria left him struggling to reconcile his heritage with the distinctly English culture and environment he was raised in. As a teenager facing a cultural identity crisis, he joined a local skinhead gang in order to escape racial persecution at their hands. At 16 years old, having become a violent thief, his foster parents sent him to a boarding school in Surrey where he ultimately attempted suicide before coming to terms with his background and turning his life around.[3]

He went on to earn a Law degree from King's College London and a Masters in Law from the University of London. While a university student, Akinnuoye-Agbaje worked in a clothes shop where he was introduced to the world of modeling. His modeling career eventually led him to Hollywood, where he began his acting career with a 1995 role in Congo.[3]

His best known acting roles have been as the imposing convict Simon Adebisi in the 1990s HBO prison series Oz and as Mr. Eko on ABC's survivor drama Lost.[3] He has numerous film credits since he began acting in 1994 and has appeared in many top films, including The Bourne Identity, in which he played a deposed African dictator, Hitu the police officer in Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, Lock-Nah in The Mummy Returns, and Heavy Duty in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.[4]

In 2009, Akinnuoye-Agbaje was in talks with Marvel Studios to play the superhero Black Panther in a proposed film of the same name. In an interview, he stated his excitement about the possibility, saying that "the timing is so right" for a black superhero, and "while I'm in my prime, this is the time... I'm going to keep knocking on their door." In 2014 Marvel did announce a Black Panther film, though with Chadwick Boseman in the title role.[5]

Akinnuoye-Agbaje has also stated that he will be directing a film about his life story. More recently, he guest starred in the second episode of season 8 of Monk, and played Derek Jameson in the 2011 film The Thing.[6] He portrayed Kurse in the Marvel Studios film Thor: The Dark World.[7] He portrayed the character Malko in the fifth season of Game of Thrones.[1][8] In 2015 it was reported that Akinnuoye-Abaje voices the lead character of Bilal, a film about the life of Bilal Ibn Rabah set to be released in the second half of the year.[9] In 2015 it was announced that he'd joined the cast of Suicide Squad as the Batman villain Killer Croc.[10]

Personal life

Akinnuoye-Agbaje is a Nichiren Buddhist[11] and a member of the Soka Gakkai International Buddhist association.[12]

Akinnuoye-Agbaje asked to be written off Lost, citing a desire to return to London after his parents' deaths and to direct a film there.[13] He has also never married or had children.



Year Title Role Director Notes
1995 Congo Kahega Frank Marshall
1995 Delta of Venus The Clairvoyant Zalman King
1995 Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls Hitu Steve Oedekerk
1996 The Deadly Voyage Emmanuel John Mackenzie
1998 Legionnaire Luther Peter MacDonald
2000 Enslavement: The True Story of Fanny Kemble Joe James Keach
2001 The Mummy Returns Lock-Nah Stephen Sommers
2001 Lip Service Sebastion Shawn Schepps
2002 Bourne Identity, TheThe Bourne Identity Nykwana Wombosi Doug Liman
2004 Unstoppable Junod David Carson
2005 Mistress of Spices, TheThe Mistress of Spices Kwesi Paul Mayeda Berges
2005 On the One (Preaching to the Choir) Bull Sharky Charles Randolph-Wright
2005 Get Rich or Die Tryin' Majestic Jim Sheridan
2009 G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra Heavy Duty Stephen Sommers
2010 Faster The Evangelist George Tillman, Jr.
2011 Killer Elite The Agent Gary McKendry
2011 Thing, TheThe Thing Derek Jameson Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.
2012 Best Laid Plans Joseph David Blair
2013 Bullet to the Head Morel Walter Hill
2013 Thor: The Dark World Algrim the Strong / Kurse Alan Taylor
2013 The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete Pike George Tillman, Jr.
2014 Pompeii Atticus Paul W.S. Anderson
2014 Annie Nash Will Gluck
2015 Trumbo Virgil Brooks Jay Roach
2015 Bilal Bilal Khurram Alavi Voice only
2015 Concussion Dave Duerson Peter Landesman
2016 Suicide Squad Waylon Jones / Killer Croc David Ayer Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1995 New York Undercover Cliff Ramsey
1996–1999 Linc's Winston Iwelu
1997 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Cabe Attucks
1997–2000 Oz Simon Adebisi
2005–2006 Lost Mr. Eko Main Cast (Season 2–3): 21 episodes
2009 Monk Samuel Waingaya
2011 Strike Back: Project Dawn
2012 Hunted Deacon Crane
2015 Major Lazer Major Lazer (voice)
2015 Game of Thrones Malko
2015 American Odyssey Frank Majors

Music videos


  1. 1.0 1.1 Lawler, Kelly (17 October 2014). "'Lost' alum joins 'Game of Thrones' as ... someone". USA Today. Retrieved 24 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. White, James (28 October 2014). "Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje Joins NFL Concussion Drama". EmpireOnline. Retrieved 1 September 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Anthony, Andrew (12 May 2012). "Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje: 'I didn't want to be black. So I joined the skinheads…'". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 August 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje Joins Universal's Thing Prequel". DreadCentral.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Siegel, Lucas (28 October 2014). "Marvel Announces Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Inhumans, Avengers: Infinity War Films, Cap & Thor 3 Subtitles". Newsarama. Archived from the original on 28 October 2014. Retrieved 28 October 2014. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "'The Thing' Prequel Gains Some Muscle". BloodyDisgusting.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. McNary, Dave (22 August 2012). "Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje joins 'Thor: Dark World'". Variety. Archived from the original on 22 August 2012. Retrieved 22 August 2012. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Lost's Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje joins Game of Thrones". IGN. Retrieved 29 November 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Obenson, Tambay (27 February 2015). "Trailer for Animated Feature Film Inspired by True Story of Afro-Arab Slave Who Became "Voice of Islam"". Retrieved 3 February 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. 60 SECONDS: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
  12. Los Angeles Times: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje not lost in L.A.
  13. Keck, William (1 November 2006). "Eko is a Monster Mash". USA Today.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Media related to Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje at Wikimedia Commons