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Ejiofor: I'm thrilled for Elba

Chiwetel Ejiofor is up against Idris Elba for Golden Globes and SAG awards: Photo © Ejiofor: I'm thrilled for Elba Photo

Chiwetel Ejiofor has revealed that he has no rivalry with Idris Elba, despite the two British stars vying for top acting awards this year.

The two London actors are up against each other for the best actor gong at the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Awards - Chiwetel for his portrayal of Solomon Northup in 12 Years A Slave and his TV role in BBC drama Dancing On The Edge, and Idris for his portrayal of Nelson Mandela in Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom and his small-screen role in crime drama Luther.

"It's really terrific, it's really exciting. I'm thrilled for Idris as well. He's gone through a remarkable few days with everything that's happened so I'm really thrilled for him," he said.

"We've been friends for a long time now - it's been 20 years - so it's really exciting to have two projects out there. We spoke the other day actually, how exciting it is to talk about these two very different guys (Mandela and Solomon) going through these two different set of circumstances but they found them very embracing and found an audience in both of them."

Chiwetel said he has been impressed with the feedback he's had about Steve McQueen's unflinching slavery drama.

"It has been amazing, the reception and how it's been received by people. It's been remarkable," he said.

"This was something I thought was just extraordinary and an amazing story. The opportunity to talk about Solomon Northup, his life and his experiences were so amazing to me."

:: 12 Years A Slave, which also stars Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt and Benedict Cumberbatch, opens in cinemas on January 10.

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