Doctor Strange 2 Star Chiwetel Ejiofor Details His History With "The Two Benedicts"

Around these parts, you likely know Chiwetel Ejiofor as Baron Karl Mordo in Scott Derrickson's Doctor Strange. Before appearing in the reality-warping cape movie, the actor built a career by appearing in critically-acclaimed small features, including an Oscar-nominated role in 12 Years a Slave. Most recently, the BAFTA-winning superstar appeared in Netflix's The Old Guard. On a press tour for the feature, Ejiofor stopped by CNET's I'm So Obsessed podcast to chat all things Strange, Old Guard, and more.

Toward the end of the conversation, the actor opened up a bit on his Doctor Strange role as he dove into the relationships he had with two of the co-stars in that franchise — Benedict Cumberbatch and Benedict Wong. That's when Obsessed's Patrick Holland asked the star to choose between the two as his favorite.

"The thing is, my history of the two Benedicts...I have a very long history with both Benedicts, which makes it more confusing," Ejiofor said of the choice between the two. "When I did a Dirty Pretty Things, I did it with Benedict Wong and it was the first film I was able to be the lead in and it was really awesome film in terms of my relationship with cinema. I met this really brilliant actor, Benedict Wong, and we had this fantastic time together working on that film so we became very, very close friends."

Eventually, Ejiofor chose Wong as the "superior" Benedict, largely due in part to the near-constant working relationship between the two actors. "Years later, I did another film — The Martian, Ridley Scott's film — and again, we were both there excited to be doing this film," he added. "Then, a little while later, we were both able to do Doctor Strange."

As discussed, the two actually campaigned for Wong to get his Doctor Strange role — something Ejifor helped manifest after being cast as long-time Strange nemesis Karl Mordo in the feature. "We were actually talking about 'Wong for Wong,'" the actor concluded. "We were talking one over lunch about it about how Benedict came to be Wong and I would say, because I have that specific history and those really great parts we've been able to play together, I'm really excited about that relationship."


Both Ejiofor and Wong will return in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, due out March 25, 2022.

Cover photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for Global Citizen