Edi Mue Gathegi was born in Nairobi, Kenya, on March 10, 1979. One of three children, Gathegi’s family moved to the United States when he was young and settled in Albany, California.
Gathegi attended the University of California, Santa Barbara, as an undergraduate with the intention of playing basketball. However, his life dramatically changed when he blew out his knee during training, subsequently ending his athletic career. As a result, Gathegi became depressed and decided he wanted to take, what he considered, an easy course. He enrolled in an acting class and immediately fell in love with the art.
Gathegi was later accepted into New York University, where he studied acting at the Tisch School of the Arts.
Gathegi graduated from from New York University in 2005 and landed his first major role the following year, appearing in Crank with Jason Statham and Amy Smart. The young actor quickly earned roles alongside Hollywood A-listers, performing opposite Kevin Bacon in Death Sentence and as Cheese in Ben Affleck’s Gone Baby Gone.
Gathegi was not only turning heads on the silver screen, he was finding success on television. He appeared on CSI: Miami, and earned much recognition and popularity for his reccurring role as Dr. Jeffery “Big Love” Cole on House M.D.
As Gathegi’s career began to flourish, he received a suggestion from a casting director about auditioning for a role as a vampire in the upcoming Twilight film. Although initially skeptical, Gathegi went to the audition and earned the role of Laurent in the film adaptation of Stephemie Meyer’s best-selling novel. Gathegi recalls that his skepticism completely dissipated after reading the first book, and falling in love with the story and its characters.
Twilight (2008) was an international success, and Gathegi went on to star in the franchise’s second film, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, in 2009. Gathegi earned another high-profile role in 2011, as Armando Muñoz/Darwin in the film X-Men: First Class.
Off the set, Gathegi spends his time traveling, playing sports, reading and watching movies, and prefers to spend his time in New York: The actor once told Vanity Fair magazine that New York City is the only city he’s lived in that has “felt like home.”
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