March 10, 1979
Although Edi Gathegi was most widely recognized for his role as the dreadlocked vampire Laurent in "Twilight" (2008) and "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" (2009), the actor was never a huge fan of the vampire genre. In fact, when he first read for the part, he was so unfamiliar with the popularity of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight novels that he didn't realize it was a vampire flick. But Gathegi clicked so well with the film's director, Catherine Hardwicke, that he immediately devoured the entire Twilight cycle, quickly becoming a fan of the best-selling books. Edi Mue Gathegi was born in Nairobi, Kenya, on March 10, 1979. His family moved to the United States when he was young, settling in the Bay Area town of Albany, CA. In college, the 6'1" Gathegi focused on basketball at The University of California, Santa Barbara, but this first love was derailed by a knee injury that drove him into the low-impact sport of acting. He went on to study his craft at New York University's prestigious Tisch School of the Arts. After graduating in 2005, Gathegi quickly kicked off his acting career playing a cabbie in Jason Statham's "Crank" (2006). The following year Gathegi landed a recurring role as Dr. Jeffery Cole on FOX's hit series, "House M.D." (Fox 2004-2012). He went on to win a small but important role as hard-bitten drug lord Cheese in Ben Affleck's feature-length directorial debut, "Gone Baby Gone" (2007). Within his brief on-screen moment in this critically acclaimed working-class mystery, Gathegi delivers the film's title line. After landing his plum role in "Twilight," the actor was cautiously optimistic during pre-release interviews, but still found himself somewhat unprepared for the film's frenzied reception. In 2009, Gathegi appeared in the considerably less popular slasher remake "My Bloody Valentine 3-D," and reprised his role as Laurent in "The Twilight Saga: New Moon." He subsequently landed the role of Armando Muñoz/Darwin in "X-Men: First Class" (2011) and appeared in the commercially unsuccessful film based on Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" (2011). The actor also made several small screen appearances on popular shows including a guest spot on The CW's "Nikita" (2010-13), the recurring role of Kyle on The CW's "Beauty and the Beast" (2012-16), and as Leon on the ABC drama "Red Widow" (2013), which was the brainchild of a fellow "Twilight" alum, screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg. The same year, Gathegi joined the cast of the sitcom "Family Tools" (ABC 2013). Gathegi next co-starred in the cable drama "Proof" (2015), and appeared in story arcs on "Justified" (FX 2010-15), "The Blacklist" (NBC 2013- ) and "Into the Badlands" (AMC 2015- ).