The Oscar-nominated actor chases after Scarlett Johansson in ''The Island''

By EW Staff
Updated June 17, 2005 at 04:00 AM EDT

Age 41

Mustworthiness The Benin, West Africa, native is endowed with a quiet, smoldering intensity which he brings to every role?from his Golden Globe-nominated portrayal of Joseph Cinque, the leader of a slave-ship rebellion, in 1997’s Amistad, to Mateo, an artist living with AIDS in 2003’s In America, for which he earned a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nom. Now the ex-fashion model jumps to science fiction, playing a special agent on the hunt for Scarlett Johansson and Ewan McGregor in The Island (July 22).

Kiss My Accent ”I haven’t had to change my accent to play an American role. First of all, it’s difficult for me to do because English is my fifth language. Secondly, there are other actors — African-American actors — who can easily do that without me having to stretch myself to that degree. I don’t really care to be the generic African-American actor.”

Next Developing three projects through his production company, including Spy Master, a thriller in which he’d star, and World War II drama DD452.