Actor: Edi Gathegi
Birthday: March 10, 1979
Birth Place: Nairobi, Kenya
Edi Gathegi was born March 10, 1979 in Nairobi, Kenya. When he was a baby, his family moved to California where he was raised with his older brother and younger sister.
Although he’s always enjoyed being a performer and entertainer, he never considered it seriously until his junior year in college when he took an acting class. In fact, during high school, he and his friends made fun of the “theater geeks,” so he finds it ironic that now he’s one of them. He went on to graduate from NYU’s prestigious MFA program for acting.
His first professional audition was for a part in Spike Lee’s film Inside Man. It had been his dream to work with the legendary director, so Edi was thrilled to be cast. However, in an unfortunate turn of events involving union contract issues, he was cut from the film. He still hopes to get the opportunity to work with Spike Lee on a future project.
In looking for roles, he’s most interested in characters that are different from himself. He’s gone from playing a psychopathic drug lord in the film Gone Baby Gone to a conservative religious doctor in the TV series House. He also points out that he’s very different from the part of a slightly French-accented vampire.
In real life, he considers himself goofy, a class clown. He is one of the main pranksters on the set of Twilight. In a role he created for such purposes, he cast himself as Kelly, a valley girl from California, who is Jackson Rathbone’s (Jasper) biggest fan. “Kelly” calls Jackson in his hotel room and professes her love for him.
He read for the part of Laurent in November 2007 before a script was even available. Having no information on the role or the movie when he showed up for the audition, he was shocked as he read through the audition materials. “What, is this a vampire movie?” Halfway through the audition, he was having so much fun with director Catherine Hardwicke, he said a silent prayer that the story was good. After getting the part, he remembered that a few months earlier his friend, Electra, talked about a book she loved that was being turned into a movie. Although he didn’t pay much attention to it at the time, he realizes now she was referring to Twilight.
He’s since read all three of the books and found the story, which he defines as “a romance set in a world where vampires exist,” to be “truthful, kind, and compelling.” One of his favorite parts in the book is when Bella realizes she’s in love with Edward. He says he “loves [that] moment.”
In addition to reading the books to prepare for the part of Laurent, he immersed himself in all things French. He listened to language tapes, watched French films, and ate French food, he says with a smile. It was important for him to understand the “rules of the language and articulation” to accurately portray a slightly-French character.
He also created an elaborate back story and read about Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges, otherwise known as the black Mozart. Although the timeline doesn’t quite match up, Edi says he was “a true renaissance man” and “Laurent would totally have been best friends with him before he turned [into a vampire].” He considers Laurent “creepy” and extremely dangerous, but Edi also sees his humanity. He’s basically a “good guy plagued by the necessity to survive” who is intrigued by the Cullen’s idea of “self-evolution.”
His favorite part to film was when the “nomadic vampires” came out of the forest onto the baseball field. He says, “I believe it’s going to be pretty sick.” Noting that he wore special contacts for the part of Laurent, he enjoyed “creeping people out with the eyes.”
Edi says he was clueless as to the enormity of the Twilight fan base, but that it’s “totally frickin’ rad.” People have begun to make fan videos of him which he finds flattering and thrilling.
As to future projects, Edi is reluctant to talk about them until the “ink has dried.” But one day he would love to play his own father in a film about his life. He said he came to the United States from Kenya “with $50, a suitcase, and a dream [and] now has five degrees from Berkeley and is a Dean.”
Although he’s not necessarily a fan of vampire films, he says it’s his “dirty little secret” that he has wanted to play a vampire; he’s literally dreamt of being one. “Vampires are kinda sexy and man needs to be reminded of how sexy he is every now and then.” Twilighters are happy that Edi’s vampire dreams have come true and are excited to see him bring the dangerous, but sexy, Laurent to the big screen.
And to answer the age-old question, should Edward bite Bella? Edi replies “frick yeah.” What a true romantic.
He’s an avid reader and wishes there were more hours a day to read.
He’s also a writer and loves to watch movies.
Rachelle Lefevre (Victoria) got him hooked on Boot Camp, an intense fitness class.
He eats Kashi cereal every morning but loves ice cream.
He also sings in the shower.
Youtube film clips:
The following are two video clips a fan named Lola put together. Edi mentioned them in his Twilight Lexicon interview with Cocoa saying he was totally flattered and surprised.
Edi Gathegi Myspace page
Send Fan Mail to:
9057 Nemo St.
West Hollywood, CA 90046
This actor bio was prepared by: Simplicity