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His name is Edi Gathegi – a name you may not be familiar with, though his face might be immediately recognizable from his role as an evil vampire in the Twilight saga.

Industry awareness of the star of both stage and screen is steadily growing. His role in this summer’s X-Men: First Class playing a character called Darwin, described as “the first black Latino mutant,” with powers that allow him to adapt to any situation or environment.

In a bit of color-blind casting in Atlas Shrugged, a smaller picture  released earlier this year, he plays a character named Eddie Willers. The character is an executive assistant and childhood friend of the lead female character.

Born in Kenya, Edi moved to the USA at a very early age. He grew up mostly in California. Eventually, heading east to New York to attend New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts to pursue a graduate school acting degree.

His early professional acting work came on the theater stage, where he performed in several works by William Shakespeare and others. Gathegi’s first on screen appearances came in 2006 and 2007, with feature film roles in Crank and Gone Baby Gone. He  guest-starred on TV shows like Lincoln Heights and Veronica Mars.

Maybe his most prominent was a recurring role as Mormon intern Dr. Jeffrey Cole on the hit TV medical drama House, before being cast as Laurent in Twilight in 2008.

Despite his growing successes on the big and small screen, the 32-year old Gathegi still performs on stage, most recently co-starring in the L.A. premiere of an acclaimed Broadway play titled Superior Donuts, by Pulitzer- and Tony-winning Tracy Letts. The play ran through mid-July to wonderful reviews.

Up next for Gathegi is a lead role as an investigator in a new USA Network Las Vegas-set series titled “Wild Card”. He’s also co-starring in an upcoming horror feature film, co-starring Lucas Till, called Vacation 8, which is currently in development.

Edi Gathegi has a relatively short resume thus far, but certainly an up-and-comer to watch.

Tambay Obenson is editor of Shadow And Act on the indieWIRE Network at blogs.indiewire.com/shadowandact

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