- Has ancestors who were slaves on a Caribbean sugar plantation.
- Played goalkeeper on the soccer team that won the Under-16 All-England Championship in 1981.
- Was the first black actor in the Royal National Theatre to portray Othello, in a 1997 production.
- Donated bone marrow that saved a person's life in 2007.
- Recorded his audition for the award-winning cable drama Homeland with a video camera in his bedroom.
- Has portrayed Nelson Mandela in a TV movie and Martin Luther King Jr. in a play.
- Was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 2012.