- "Sunjata," originally his middle name, is a Guinean word for "hungry lion" and was given to him by his adoptive parents.
- Played on two state championship football teams in high school.
- Performed in a student play his sophomore year at Florida A&M, which prompted him to switch majors from business to fine arts.
- Began making a name for himself on stage in the late 1990s, particularly in Twelfth Night with Helen Hunt, and then on TV, most notably as a sailor attempting to woo Sarah Jessica Parker on a 2002 episode of Sex and the City.
- In 2003 won a Theater World Award and earned his first Tony nomination for playing a gay baseball player in Take Me Out.
- In 2003 was named by People magazine as one of the 50 most beautiful people of the year.
- Came to the public's attention as New York firefighter Franco Rivera on Rescue Me in 2004 and as Nurse Eli on Grey's Anatomy in 2010.
- Has shown support for the 9/11 Truth Movement that wants the 9/11 attacks to be reinvestigated; in a 2009 interview with Russia Today said he believes the 9/11 attacks were an inside job.