Chiwetel Ejiofor learned the violin for his role in '12 Years A Slave'.

The 36-year-old actor - who portrays Solomon Northup, a free man and avid violinist, who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841 Louisiana in the award-winning movie - found it easier to master the instrument than pretend to play.

Chiwetel said: ''It turns out the violin is a very tricky instrument if you're trying to fake it, so I got a teacher. She was great and we'd practice when we had any time - lunch breaks or whatever - so it was good to learn the tunes and the different positions because it's a fiddling this which is also quite complicated.''

The actor also revealed his co-star Benedict Cumberbatch - who also plays the violin for his role in TV show 'Sherlock' - often gets annoyed that editing in his detective series makes him appear like an amateur on the instrument.

Chiwetel told Britain's Hello! magazine: ''[Benedict] said he always looks like he can't play because they cut him in a strange way or they just don't let it run with the same music he's been learning, so he's always like: 'I could play that by now but it looks like I can't.'''