Edi Gathegi has found Hollywood success despite a majority of the industry not even knowing how to pronounce his name, or so he claimed.
In an interview with K24 TV, a Kenyan outlet, the House M.D. star opened up about his career in the industry and how his family was an integral part of the journey.
A Knee Injury Pointed Him to Acting
In the interview, the actor was quick to credit the knee injury he got while playing basketball for making him choose a life of acting.
Before the injury, he was working towards a life in professional basketball.
However, after the injury, he chose to pursue acting, which he did with conservatory-style training.
He worked his way through six years of academic training, including three years each of undergrad and grad school.
Even then, getting into the industry took a lot of time. Gathegi recalled his years of struggle where he showed up to auditions on an empty stomach, too hungry to remember his lines correctly.
For a lot of years, I wasn’t able to pay my bills. I was very very poor.
Struggling Through Poverty
In retrospect, the actor admitted that he should have gotten a job on the side to at least pay for basic amenities like even food.
Still, he chose the path of endurance and was adamant about paying the bills through acting.
For a majority of those years, he was barely surviving with what he had left of his student loan, and for the rest, he used up whatever money he made from acting.
Although the money he made as a struggling actor was nowhere near enough to uplift his quality of life, it was enough for him to survive the day-to-day hustle.
His Parents Were Surprisingly Supportive
Further along in the interview, Gathegi revealed that he was surprised by his parents’ support and belief in him because he did not expect it from them.
Gathegi confessed that when he’d found acting, he was terrified about bringing it up with his father, John Gathegi.
Gathegi’s father was a highly educated professor. So telling John that he wanted to pursue the art of acting was not easy.
But when Gathegi found his way to come clean to his father, he was surprised.
He Was Meant to Be an Actor
When Gathegi told John that he wanted to be an actor, John called him home and showed him a progress report from when he was four years old.
It was from when the StartUp actor was in pre-school.
In that report, his then teacher had commented that Gathegi possessed the personality of an actor, and that is who he should be when he grew up.
So his father said,
We’ve known this your whole life. We’d been waiting for you to claim it. You have my blessing.
His Acting Career & Net Worth
Gathegi believed that if he was in a different family, he might have quit. The thing that helped him not to quit was the support from his family.
Today, Gathegi has over fifty acting credits to his name in projects like House M.D., The Blacklist: Redemption, X-men: First Class, and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2.
Although more recent estimates are scarce, his time in Hollywood earned him a massive net worth of three million dollars back in 2017.
Last but most certainly not least, the actor also celebrated five years with his wife Adriana Gathegi on May 30, 2021.