Chukwudi Iwuji

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Chukwudi Iwuji
Iwuji in costume as the High Evolutionary at Comic Con 2022
Born (1975-10-15) 15 October 1975 (age 48)
EducationYale University (BA)
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (MFA)
Years active2005–present

Chukwudi Iwuji // (/ˈʊkʊdi ɪˈwi/;[1] born 15 October 1975) is a Nigerian and British actor known for his recent collaborations with James Gunn. He is an Associate Artist for the Royal Shakespeare Company.[2] He began his career in mainstream Hollywood in 2022 as Clemson Murn / Ik Nobe Lok in the HBO Max show Peacemaker. He also joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 as The High Evolutionary, for which he received critical praise.

Early life and education[edit]

Iwuji is one of five Nigerian siblings born to diplomat parents.[3] When Iwuji was age 10, they joined the United Nations, and the family moved to Ethiopia. At age 12, Iwuji was sent to boarding school in England. Between 1987 and 1993, he was a student at Caterham School, Surrey.[4] He was elected Head Boy, the first Black student to be so in the school's history.[5] He then attended Yale University and earned his undergraduate degree in economics in 1997. He attended the Professional Theatre Training Program (PTTP) at The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2000. He then moved back to the United Kingdom.[6]



Iwuji began to perform at the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2001. He had roles in Edward Hall's production of Julius Caesar and as Claudius in Hamlet, both in 2001. In 2002, he played Fenton in The Merry Wives of Windsor and Aufidius in Coriolanus. In 2006, he replaced David Oyelowo in the title role of the Henry VI trilogy in the revival of the This England: The Histories project. Iwuji described the role, "In Henry VI, the musicality is different: the thoughts are very structured."[7] The production won the Olivier Award for Best Revival.[8]

In 2013, Iwuji played Enobarbus in the Caribbean-themed Antony and Cleopatra directed by Tarell Alvin McCraney that was a joint production between the RSC and The Public Theater in New York. In 2014, he played Edgar in King Lear. In 2016, he played Hamlet for The Public's Mobile Unit, and he described his portrayal of the role as "this ugly, relentless beast that’s about to be unleashed."[9] In 2018, he starred as Othello at the Delacorte Theater for Shakespeare in the Park opposite Corey Stoll as Iago,[10] and as Blanke in The Low Road at the Public.

Iwuji has worked with numerous other theaters. In 2002, he was in Peter Hall 's Bacchai at the Royal National Theatre. He played Booth in Topdog/Underdog Christy in Playboy of the Western World at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, Julian in Thea Sharrock's production of The Misanthrope, and played in the large cast of The Vote at the Donmar Warehouse in 2015. He performed at the Royal National Theatre in Welcome to Thebes in 2010, the Old Vic in a 2011 Richard III,[11] in 2014 off-Broadway in Tamburlaine for which theater critic Ben Brantley called him "a standout,"[12] and in 2016-17 with director Ivo van Hove in both Obsession and Hedda Gabbler.


Iwuji appeared on a number of shows, including Barry Jenkins's 2021 The Underground Railroad. In 2018, became a series regular on the legal drama The Split. That year, he played the King of France for the BBC recording of King Lear starring Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson, and Florence Pugh. He had a recurring role on Netflix's When They See Us and Designated Survivor in 2019, and starred in Peacemaker in 2022.


Iwuji was in the 2016 film Barry and played Akoni in John Wick: Chapter 2 in 2017. In 2023, he portrayed the High Evolutionary in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Iwuji lives in New York with his wife, actress/singer Angela Travino.


Denotes works that have not yet been released


Year Title Role Notes
2009 Exam Black
2016 Barry Ephraim
2017 John Wick: Chapter 2 Akoni
2018 Bikini Moon Adam
Rosy Manager
2019 Daniel Isn't Real Braun
2020 Shine Your Eyes Ikenna Igbomaeze
News of the World Charles Edgefield Uncredited
2021 The Girl Who Got Away Jamie Nwosu
2023 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 High Evolutionary


Year Title Role Notes
2005 Proof Jake Zaria 4 episodes
2005 Casualty Daniel Peel 1 episode
2011 Doctor Who Carl 2 episodes
2012 Wizards vs Aliens Adams 2 episodes
2015 Crossing Lines Fabrice Wombosi 2 episodes
2016 Madam Secretary Hadi Bangote 1 episode
2016 Blindspot Oscar's Friend 1 episode
2018 King Lear King of France Television film
2018 Quantico Dante Warick 1 episode
2018− 2022 The Split Alexander Hale Recurring role, 18 episodes
2019 When They See Us Colin Moore Miniseries, 2 episodes
2019 Designated Survivor Dr. Eli Mays Recurring role, 8 episodes
2019 Dynasty Landon 1 episode
2021 The Underground Railroad Mingo Miniseries, 2 episodes
2022 Peacemaker Clemson Murn / Ik Nobe Lok Main role



  1. ^ "Brave New Shakespeare Challenge - ROMEO AND JULIET with Chukwudi Iwuji". The Public Theater. 12 April 2020. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  2. ^ "Associate Artists". Royal Shakespeare Company. Retrieved 4 July 2022.
  3. ^ McFerran, Ann. "Chuk Iwuji". The Times. Retrieved 4 July 2022.
  4. ^ ""Omnia Issue 2 Spring - Summer 2017 - Finding Drama, Chuk Iwuji"".
  5. ^ Cote, David (25 May 2018). "Onstage and Off, Chukwudi Iwuji Relishes the Role of the Outsider". The Village Voice. Retrieved 4 July 2022.
  6. ^ Herstein, Beth. "Interview with Chukwudi Iwuji Public Theater Mobile Unit Hamlet". Talkin Broadway. Retrieved 4 July 2022.
  7. ^ Jays, David (27 June 2016). "Chuk Iwuji on playing Henry VI: 'There's nothing wimpy about him'". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 July 2022.
  8. ^ "Olivier Winners 2009". Official London Theatre. Retrieved 4 July 2022.
  9. ^ Soloski, Alexis (21 September 2016). "Interview Chuk Iwuji: 'My Hamlet is an ugly beast about to be unleashed'". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 July 2022.
  10. ^ Brantley, Ben (19 June 2018). "Review: A Cool-Tempered 'Othello' for Warm Central Park Nights". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 July 2022.
  11. ^ "The Home of London Theatre".
  12. ^ Brantley, Ben (18 November 2014). "It's Best Not to Make Him Angry". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 July 2022.
  13. ^ Fuge, Jonathan (25 January 2022). "Chukwudi Iwuji's Guardians of the Galaxy 3 Character is Extremely Powerful and Complex". MovieWeb. Retrieved 4 July 2022.
  14. ^ Diamond, Robert. "2018 Lucille Lortel Award Winners - Full List!". Broadway World. Retrieved 4 July 2022.
  15. ^ "2018". Obie Awards. Retrieved 4 July 2022.
  16. ^ Millward, Tom. "Drama League Awards 2018 - And the Winners are..." New York Theatre Guide. Retrieved 4 July 2022.

External links[edit]