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Aunjanue Ellis is a Actor American born on 21 february 1969 at San Francisco (USA)

Aunjanue Ellis

Aunjanue Ellis
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Birth name Aunjanue L. Ellis
Nationality USA
Birth 21 february 1969 (51 years) at San Francisco (USA)

Aunjanue L. Ellis (born February 21, 1969) is an American film, stage, and television actress, and producer. She began her acting career in theater, and made her film debut in Girls Town. She later had leading roles in a number of independent movies, and co-starred in several mainstream films.

Ellis is best known for her roles in films Men of Honor (2000), The Caveman's Valentine (2001), Undercover Brother (2002), Ray (2004), The Express (2008), The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009) and The Help (2011). On television, Ellis had regular role in the ABC police drama series High Incident (1996–97), and later co-starred in a number of short-lived dramas. She had recurring roles on The Practice, True Blood, and The Mentalist, and played roles in a number of made for television movies, such as Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story (2009) and Abducted: The Carlina White Story (2013).

In 2015, Ellis played the leading role in the miniseries The Book of Negroes based on bestselling novel by Lawrence Hill, for which she received critical acclaim and a Critic's Choice Award nomination for Best Actress in a Movie/Miniseries. Later that year, she began starring as Miranda Shaw in the ABC drama series, Quantico.

Biography

Jeunesse et formation
Elle est élevée, par sa grand-mère, dans une ferme du Mississippi et fait ses études au Tougallo College.

Elle est transférée à l'université Brown et y décroche son diplôme, un master en études afro-américaines.

Par la suite, elle fréquente la prestigieuse Tisch School of the Arts de New York afin d'y étudier l'art dramatique.


Carrière
Débuts, seconds rôles et théâtre (années 1990 et 2000)
En 1995, elle fait sa première apparition à la télévision, dans un épisode de la série policière New York Undercover.

Entre 1996 et 1997, elle signe pour son premier rôle régulier avec la série policière Haute Tension dans laquelle elle incarne l'officier Leslie Joyner.

En 1998, elle joue dans la comédie dramatique Desert Blue avec Casey Affleck, Kate Hudson et Christina Ricci dans les premiers rôles. L'année suivante, elle est à l'affiche du thriller Gangsta Cop avec Omar Epps et LL Cool J ainsi que du drame Une carte du monde porté par Sigourney Weaver et Julianne Moore.

Puis, elle s'invite pour quelques épisodes, sur le plateau de la série The Practice : Donnell et Associés.

En 2000, elle partage l'affiche du drame Les Chemins de la dignité avec Robert De Niro, Cuba Gooding Jr. et Charlize Theron. L'année suivante, elle incarne la fille de Samuel L. Jackson dans le drame The Caveman's Valentine de Kasi Lemmons.

En 2002, sous la direction de Malcolm D. Lee, elle joue dans la comédie saluée par les critiques Undercover Brother : Un agent très secret.

En 2004, elle est la vedette de la pièce de théâtre de Regina Taylor, Drowning Crown, jouée au Manhattan Theatre Club. La même année, elle joue une choriste dans le biopic acclamé, Ray. Cette biographie filmée du chanteur Ray Charles a permis à Jamie Foxx d'obtenir l'Oscar du meilleur acteur en 2005 pour son interprétation du rôle-titre. Elle est aussi à l'affiche du drame indépendant Brother to Brother, présenté lors du Festival du film de Sundance en 2004.

Entre 2005 et 2006, elle défend, aux côtés de Benjamin Bratt et Kelly Rutherford mais aussi Dennis Hopper, la série d'espionnage du réseau NBC, DOS : Division des opérations spéciales. La série est cependant annulée au bout d'une seule saison, faute d'audiences.

Après cet arrêt prématuré, elle rejoint le drame judiciaire de la FOX, Justice avec Victor Garber et Kerr Smith. Justice est une série qui raconte l'histoire de quatre grands avocats à la tête d'un cabinet de renom : TNT&G. C'est un nouvel échec, les audience s'effondrent et le programme est rapidement interrompu.

Il s'en suit de nombreuses apparitions isolées dans diverses séries télévisées, avant qu'elle ne fasse un retour exposé, en 2009, au cinéma.

En effet, elle est à l'affiche de plusieurs longs métrages. Elle joue dans le film biographique salué Notorious BIG qui revient sur le destin hors-norme du rappeur de New York, The Notorious B.I.G., qui trouva la mort le 9 mars 1997. Aunjanue Ellis est ensuite à l'affiche de la romance dramatique I Love You Phillip Morris portée par Jim Carrey et Ewan McGregor; Elle est la femme de Denzel Washington confronté à John Travolta dans le film d'action L'Attaque du métro 123 et elle donne la réplique à Uma Thurman dans la comédie dramatique Maman, mode d'emploi.


Alternance cinéma et télévision (années 2010)
Entre 2010 et 2013, elle joue la chef du CBI dans la série policière Mentalist. Ce rôle récurrent est considéré comme celui qui l'a fait connaître du grand public. Autre rôle du même acabit pour l'actrice, entre 2012 et 2017, dans une autre série policière, NCIS : Los Angeles, elle est la femme de LL Cool J.


Entre temps, elle s'invite sur le plateau de la série fantastique Sleepy Hollow. En 2012, elle porte le téléfilm Lifetime, 23 ans d'absence de Vondie Curtis-Hall, aux côtés de Keke Palmer. Lors de sa première diffusion outre-atlantique, ce drame canadien est un succès d'audiences. Forte d'une nouvelle visibilité, elle porte la mini-série dramatique The Book of Negroes. Diffusée en 2015, elle est adaptée du roman Aminata écrit par Lawrence Hill en 2007, lui-même inspiré par le document historique Book of Negroes rédigé en 1783. Elle signe une interprétation saluée par les critiques qui lui vaut de nombreuses citations et quelques récompenses au titre de meilleure actrice.
En 2016, elle est à l'affiche du drame historique controversé, The Birth of a Nation de Nate Parker.

Entre 2015 et 2017, elle est l'un des premiers rôles de la série thriller Quantico, popularisée par son héroïne, Priyanka Chopra. Elle incarne Miranda Shaw, une amie d'Alex, qui perd finalement la confiance de l'équipe en les trahissant. Suite à cela, son personnage quitte la distribution principale de la série, à partir de la troisième saison.

Cependant, Aunjanue Ellis décroche rapidement l'un des rôles principaux d'une nouvelle série policière du réseau CBS, Chiefs, dans laquelle elle incarne une chef de police à Los Angeles, aux côtés d'Alana de la Garza et de Jorja Fox. Finalement la série ne dépasse pas le stade de pilote.

En 2018, elle partage l'affiche du film indépendant Pimp, avec Keke Palmer. Ce drame raconte l'histoire d'une jeune femme qui a grandi dans un quartier difficile et qui doit veiller à la fois sur sa mère, et surveiller sa petite amie prostituée. La même année, toujours dans le registre du drame indépendant, elle est à l'affiche de Miss Virginia aux côtés de Vanessa Williams, Uzo Aduba et Adina Porter. Elle est aussi à l'affiche de la romance acclamée par les critiques Si Beale Street pouvait parler avec Finn Wittrock, un long métrage basé sur le roman de James Baldwin du même nom et présenté au festival international du film de Toronto 2018.

En 2019, elle rejoint Courtney B. Vance et Elizabeth Debicki pour la série dramatique Lovecraft Country du réseau HBO. Dans le même temps, elle intègre aussi la mini-série d'Ava DuVernay, Dans leur regard avec Niecy Nash et Storm Reid. La série s'attaque à l'une des affaires judiciaires les plus compliquées des années 1980 aux U.S.A avec le viol et l'agression physique d'une joggeuse à Central Park et l'arrestation de plusieurs hommes noirs qui en découle. Ce programme est largement plébiscité par la critique. Son interprétation lui vaut une proposition pour le Primetime Emmy Award de la meilleure actrice dans une mini-série ou un téléfilm.


Vie privée
Elle est membre du Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, un organisme qui met en avant les femmes instruites, et spécialement les afro-américaines.

Usually with

Tate Taylor
Tate Taylor
(2 films)
Nate Parker
Nate Parker
(1 films)
Wesley Snipes
Wesley Snipes
(2 films)
Source : Wikidata

Filmography of Aunjanue Ellis (35 films)

Display filmography as list

Actress

If Beale Street Could Talk, 1h57
Directed by Barry Jenkins
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Romance
Actors KiKi Layne, Stephan James, Regina King, Teyonah Parris, Colman Domingo, Michael Beach
Roles Mrs. Hunt
Rating70% 3.549773.549773.549773.549773.54977
Une jeune femme afro-américaine cherche à prouver l'innocence de son compagnon, accusé à tort d'un viol.
Pimp
Pimp (2018)

Directed by Christine Crokos
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Romance
Themes Films about sexuality, LGBT-related film, Lesbian-related films
Actors Keke Palmer, Haley Ramm, Edi Gathegi, Lyrica Okano, Vanessa Morgan, Aunjanue Ellis
Roles Gloria May
Rating75% 3.796743.796743.796743.796743.79674
Une histoire d'amour urbaine dans les rues du Bronx. Une jeune femme en difficulté, nommée Wednesday (Keke Palmer), grandit en apprenant les jeux d'argent avec son père. Une fois parti, il lui reste à surveiller sa mère et sa petite amie prostituée, Nikki (Haley Ramm).
The Birth of a Nation
Directed by Nate Parker
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Historical
Themes Films about slavery, Films about racism
Actors Armie Hammer, Aja Naomi King, Aunjanue Ellis, Gabrielle Union, Nate Parker, Colman Domingo
Roles Nancy Turner
Rating64% 3.2017253.2017253.2017253.2017253.201725
Le 21 août 1831, dans le comté de Southampton, en Virginie, l'Afro-américain Nat Turner mène une révolte de Noirs, aussi bien libres qu'esclaves. Soixante Blancs et encore plus de Noirs meurent lors de la révolte.
Of Mind and Music, 1h38
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Musical
Actors Joaquim de Almeida, Aunjanue Ellis, Ruth Negga, Bill Cobbs, Sharon Lawrence, Andre Royo
Roles Una Vida
Rating67% 3.387483.387483.387483.387483.38748
A story about a beautiful street musician suffering from memory loss and a disheartened neuroscientist intent on helping her, bringing together the city of New Orleans and the jazz that made it famous.
Get on Up
Get on Up (2014)
, 2h18
Directed by Tate Taylor
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Biography, Musical
Themes Films about music and musicians, Musical films
Actors Taraji P. Henson, Chadwick Boseman, Nelsan Ellis, Viola Davis, Dan Aykroyd, Tika Sumpter
Roles Vicki Anderson
Rating68% 3.4482653.4482653.4482653.4482653.448265
The film opens in 1993 with James Brown walking through a darkened hallway as an audience chants his name. He hears the voices of people he knew throughout his life. The film then cuts to 1988 in Augusta, Georgia; James learns that his private bathroom in a strip mall he owns was used without his consent. As he confronts and then forgives the trespasser, he accidentally fires a shotgun, attracting the police.
Abducted: The Carlina White Story, 1h26
Directed by Vondie Curtis-Hall
Origin Canada
Genres Drama
Actors Aunjanue Ellis, Keke Palmer, Sherri Shepherd, Jason Statham, Roger Cross, Afton Williamson
Roles Ann
Rating67% 3.3504453.3504453.3504453.3504453.350445
In August 1987, new parents Joy White (Shepherd) and Carl Tyson (Cross) took their 19-day-old daughter Carlina to Harlem Hospital in New York with a high fever. Ann Pettway (Ellis), who had suffered a series of miscarriages and was desperate for a child of her own, posed as a hospital nurse and walked out of the hospital with Carlina hidden from view. While Joy and Carl desperately searched for their daughter over the years, Pettway was raising Carlina (Palmer) as Nejdra “Netty” Nance in Bridgeport, Connecticut – a mere 45 miles from New York City. As Carlina grew older she began to suspect Pettway was not her birth mother and launched her own investigation. After contacting the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Carlina was reunited with her biological parents in January 2011.
The Help
The Help (2011)
, 2h26
Directed by Tate Taylor
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Comedy-drama
Themes Films about writers, Feminist films, Politique, Films about racism, Films about the labor movement, Political films, Buddy films
Actors Jessica Chastain, Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard, Allison Janney, Octavia Spencer, Emma Stone
Roles Yule Mae Davis
Rating80% 4.0499554.0499554.0499554.0499554.049955
In 1963 Jackson, Mississippi, Aibileen Clark (Viola Davis) is a black maid spending her life raising white children after the death of her only son from an industrial accident. She works for the Leefolt family, principally taking care of the children of Elizabeth Leefolt, a young woman gripped with postpartum depression who refuses to acknowledge her daughter except when disciplining her. Aibileen's best friend is Minny Jackson (Octavia Spencer), an outspoken black maid who has long worked for Hilly Holbrook's (Bryce Dallas Howard) mother, Mrs. Walters (Sissy Spacek), to the point that they are very comfortable with each other. Minny's stormy temper is tolerated due to respect for her great cooking skills. Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan (Emma Stone) is an independent thinking young white woman returning to the family plantation after graduating from the University of Mississippi to find that her beloved childhood maid, Constantine (Cicely Tyson), has quit while she was away. She is perplexed as she believes Constantine would not have left without writing her, and she eventually learns that Constantine was fired by Skeeter's mother Charlotte (Allison Janney).
Abduction
Abduction (2011)
, 1h46
Directed by John Singleton
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Thriller, Action, Crime
Themes Spy films
Actors Taylor Lautner, Lily Collins, Will Peltz, Alfred Molina, Jason Isaacs, Maria Bello
Roles Francheska
Rating51% 2.5596752.5596752.5596752.5596752.559675
Nathan Harper (Taylor Lautner) is an 18-year-old high school senior living in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with his parents Kevin (Jason Isaacs) and Mara (Maria Bello). He has been troubled by recurring nightmares and has been seeing psychiatrist Dr. Geraldine "Geri" Bennett (Sigourney Weaver) to diagnose them.
The Resident, 1h31
Directed by Antti Jokinen
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Thriller, Horror
Actors Hilary Swank, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Christopher Lee, Lee Pace, Aunjanue Ellis, Michael Massee
Roles Sydney
Rating53% 2.6523152.6523152.6523152.6523152.652315
Juliet Devereau (Hilary Swank), an emergency room surgeon, rents an apartment in New York City from Max (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). Juliet has recently broken up with her boyfriend Jack (Lee Pace) after she caught him having an affair, but she still has feelings for him. Unbeknownst to Juliet, someone is stalking her, observing her from across the street and apparently entering her apartment.
Game of Death, 1h36
Origin USA
Genres Thriller, Martial arts, Action, Adventure, Martial arts
Themes Sports films, Transport films, Martial arts films, Road movies, Chase films
Actors Wesley Snipes, Zoë Bell, Aunjanue Ellis, Robert Davi, Ernie Hudson, Ron Balicki
Roles Rachel
Rating47% 2.3539152.3539152.3539152.3539152.353915
The story is told in flashback. CIA agent Marcus Jones recounts his final mission in the form of a confession to a Catholic priest. The mission begins when Jones's mentor in the CIA, Dietrich, informs him that his next assignment is to gather intelligence for the possible prosecution of American citizens Frank Smith, an arms dealer, and John Redvale, a hedge fund manager. Jones succeeds in being hired as Smith's bodyguard and accompanies Smith to the Redvale building, where Smith is supposed to obtain $100,000,000 in cash. Unknown assailants attack the vehicle in which Smith and Jones are travelling. While Jones is distracted, Dietrich, flying above them in a helicopter with several other CIA agents, discovers that the others are traitors when they kill him. They are after the $100,000,000.
The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, 1h45
Directed by Tony Scott
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Thriller, Action, Crime
Themes Films about terrorism, Transport films, Rail transport films, Heist films, Gangster films, Escroquerie, Films about hijackings
Actors Denzel Washington, John Travolta, Luis Guzmán, John Turturro, Victor Gojcaj, Michael Rispoli
Roles Therese Garber
Rating63% 3.1994453.1994453.1994453.1994453.199445
A man calling himself Ryder hijacks Pelham 123, a New York City Subway 6 train that departed from Pelham Bay Park station at 1:23 p.m. Ryder is accompanied by three other heavily armed men; Bashkim, Emri, and former train operator Phil Ramos. They uncouple the front car from the rest of the train and take the passengers hostage. MTA employee Walter Garber is working the Rail Control Center as a train dispatcher and receives a ransom call from Ryder, who demands $10 million in cash be paid within 60 minutes. Ryder warns that every minute past the deadline they force him to wait, he will execute a hostage.
Notorious
Notorious (2009)
, 2h3
Directed by George Tillman Jr., George Tillman, Jr.
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Biography, Musical theatre, Historical, Musical
Themes Dance films, Films about music and musicians, Hip hop films, Musical films, Gangster films
Actors Angela Bassett, Derek Luke, Jamal Woolard, Anthony Mackie, Naturi Naughton, Marc John Jefferies
Rating66% 3.3498853.3498853.3498853.3498853.349885
The film opens at a party in Los Angeles, California on March 8, 1997. Just as Biggie Smalls is about to be killed in a drive-by shooting, the film flashes back to Biggie's childhood in Brooklyn, where he (now played by his biological son Christopher Wallace, Jr.) lived during his adolescent years. Biggie, (now played by Jamal Woolard) sells drugs at the height of the crack epidemic, hustling with his friends D-Roc (Dennis L.A. White) and Lil' Cease (Marc John Jefferies).
The Hungry Ghosts, 1h44
Directed by Michael Imperioli
Origin USA
Genres Drama
Actors Steve Schirripa, Paul Calderon, Ajay Naidu, Aunjanue Ellis, Emory Cohen, Sharon Angela
Roles Nadia
Rating50% 2.541652.541652.541652.541652.54165
Matthew (Emory Cohen) is a teenage boy in New York who has therapy together with his father Frank (Steve Schirripa), because of their troubled communication. The boy runs away during their session. Angela (Sharon Angela), his mother, is worried but Frank is more concerned with his radio show, and whether his techs got his vodka. He proceeds to use a great deal of cocaine as well before the show begins. Matthew goes to a park where a lot of homeless people are congregated, where he is picked up by a couple. They give him alcohol and drugs, after which the woman has sex with Matthew while the man watches.
Motherhood
Motherhood (2009)
, 1h30
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Comedy, Comedy-drama
Actors Uma Thurman, Minnie Driver, Anthony Edwards, Stephanie Szostak, Daisy Tahan, Alice Drummond
Roles Sample Sale Friend
Rating46% 2.3069552.3069552.3069552.3069552.306955
In New York's West Village, a mother's (Uma Thurman) dilemmas of marriage, work, and self are shown in the trials and tribulations of one pivotal day.
The Tested
The Tested (2009)

Actors Aunjanue Ellis, Armando Riesco, Frank Vincent, Annie Parisse, Al Thompson
Roles Darraylynn Warren, the mother of a wrongfully slain son who must find it in her soul to forgive what has happened and be the best mother she can for her remaining two children.

Log Line: A life shattering tragedy sends three people on vastly different paths to a similar goal of redemption and understanding.