Joey Ansah was born in 1982 in Hammersmith, London, England, 2nd in line to an older brother, Ryan, 3 years his senior. He is of mixed ethnicity, with his mother Nicola, originating from Plymouth, Devon, England and his father Kofi, originally from Ghana, west Africa. Joey grew up and spent the first 10 years of his life in Streatham, South London, attending private school first at Oakfield School and then at Dulwich College Prep. During these early years in London, his interest and enjoyment for acting and performance became evident, as he took part in all of the stage performances that were on offer. The almost obsessive interest in martial arts and action cinema began very young. As early as Joey can recount, he has memories of his father renting Action and martial arts films from the local video shop which he would avidly watch. Arnold, Stallone, Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Van Damme became instinctive idols and sources of inspiration which remain to this day. Joey’s family then emigrated to Accra, Ghana. This was initially a culture shock to say the least for a young Joey, who had up to this point spent most of his life in the almost exclusively white, upper-middle class environment of the English public-school system. In Accra, Joey attended Ghana’s top International school for almost 5 years. During this period he was able to truly get in touch with African culture, and obtain a balanced understanding, love and pride for both halves of his heritage. Acting and stage performance continued here for a time as well. It was in Ghana that Joey’s love for martial arts, dancing and stunts really took off. He joined the local Tae Kwon Do class which he trained at for 4 years. He became embroiled in the Hip Hop dance craze that was present at the school in Ghana. He also fell in love with motorbikes and began riding with friends – including the sons of an Australian former motocross champion.
A few months before his 15th birthday, Joey moved back to England (this time to Plymouth) with his mother and 1-year old sister, Tanoa. He attended Devonport High school for boys where he completed his secondary education. During this time Joey also began obsessively training for the rare Martial art of Ninjutsu with military personnel in Plymouth. After a brief stint high diving, Joey became very interested in acrobatics and tumbling, and began to develop this aspect of Ninjutsu to a very high level. After passing his A-levels, Joey moved to Oxford where he did a 3 year degree in Human biology at Oxford Brookes University. Whilst continuing to practice Ninjutsu and Acrobatics, he also took up the Brazilian martial art of Capoeira in which he has trained ever since. It was during these 3 years in Oxford that Joey began his professional work in show-business, getting work and experience wherever he could. In the first couple of years at University, Joey did his fair share of extras and walk-on parts and he saw this as a valuable opportunity to spend lots of time on varied film, TV and commercial sets, learning the film making process and more importantly watching and intently studying established actors at work. Rather than frowning upon doing extras work as many do, he viewed this as an invaluable learning period. Joey also worked as a model, both on the catwalk and in TV and print campaigns. His work in stunts also occurred at this time, working on Batman Begins as a stuntman, in addition to working as trainer and fight choreographer on the Sci-Fi series Starhyke (2006). He has used his Dance, martial arts and acrobatic abilities for various music videos and Live international shows.
Straight after graduating from University, Joey moved back to London and landed a major role in the award winning UK indie film, Lovestruck (2005). Following that he got an acting agent and his full time acting career began. Over the last 2 years he has been working consistently in a varied range of TV and film projects. With notable TV appearances as the terrorist Abbud in the hit TV show Spooks (2005) (aka MI5 in the USA), Roman emperor Geta in the prime time BBC docuseries Timewatch (2006). In 2006 Joey landed a major role in the upcoming, ground breaking UK action Feature ‘Underground’.
His big Hollywood break came in the form of him being cast in the upcoming Bourne Ultimatum (2007) by award-winning director, Paul Greengrass, in which he plays ‘Desh’, a Blackbriar super assassin working for the CIA who goes up against Jason Bourne (Matt Damon). The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) is released in the US and UK Aug 3rd.
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