This is What It’s like to Find Out Your Brother was Nominated for an Oscar

The best reaction to this week's Oscar nominations didn't come from a nominee, but his sister. When "12 Years a Slave" star Chiwetel Ejiofor received his nod for Best Actor, his sister, CNN Financial News reporter Zain Asher broke down in tears during an interview with one of her colleagues.


"This was a day that my family has really been hoping for, and waiting for, for such a long time," she told CNN. "Chiwetel, he's been acting since he was 13 years old…"

That's as far as Asher makes it before she begins to cry. She recalls their childhood, when he would spend his time in his bedroom practicing Shakespeare, and writing Shakespeare on the walls. While Asher went out with her friends, Ejiofor stayed home reciting lines from The Bard's great works. The family is of Nigerian descent, but was raised in London.


"He's somebody who's really dedicated, an actor's actor," Asher explains. "He's been acting for over 20 years, and so to finally see a recognition for his work, I can't even describe the feeling."

With that, she tears up again.

Ejiofor appeared on Ellen for the first time this week, and shared his experience making the movie, fresh off its Golden Globe win.

He explained to Ellen why he requested his fellow actor "hit" him for a scene.

"When you're playing someone who really existed, and went through such an intense sort of experience, you're always seeking to legitimize yourself in the process, giving yourself permission and the right to tell their story," he says. "And it felt to me, if I was totally removed from the kind of violence, and I didn't feel any impact from any of it, then I kind of wouldn't feel legitimate in telling his story."

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