Ramírez studied communications at the Andrés Bello Catholic University. He then worked in media and considered becoming a diplomat. When Iñárritu (a short film he had made with friends) was critically praised, he decided to pursue his performing hobby as a career.
Ramírez was born in San Cristóbal, Táchira, Venezuela, the son of Soday Arellano, an attorney, and Filiberto Ramírez, a military officer.He has a sister named Nataly. He was in a long-term relationship with his first girlfriend Nereida Solis.Most of his childhood was spent traveling in different countries, as such, he speaks five languages fluently: Spanish, German, English, French, and Italian.
Ramirez graduated in 1999 from the Andrés Bello Catholic University with a degree in mass communication, minoring in political communications, since he intended to become a diplomat in international relations. While in college he worked as a journalist, reporting on politics. Later, he became executive director of Dale al Voto, a Venezuelan foundation similar to Rock the Vote.
He and his team created campaigns for radio, television and movie theaters. However, he was always attracted to the performing arts and while in college was involved with the arts. Ramirez was in charge of international promotions of a short film he did with friends.
Screenwriter Alejandro González Iñárritu—then a professor in Mexico— was invited to the school's short film festival as part of the jury, that's when he saw Ramirez work in the short film and offered him a starring role in the film Amores Perros. Ramirez passed it up, as he was in the middle of his thesis and was to attend Harvard National Model UN that year as a delegate from his school. Three years later Iñárritu returned to Venezuela from the Cannes Film festival in France, where the film had won the Prize of the Critic's Week. The film went on to also be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Ramirez then decided pursue his acting interests.
His first recognition as an actor was the successful soap opera Cosita Rica, for Venevisión which aired in September 2003 to August 2004 lasting 270 episodes. In 2005, he made his major motion picture début playing Choco, Domino Harvey's love interest in the film Domino directed by Tony Scott. He was in Vantage Point directed by Pete Travis. In this high-budgeted Sony Pictures political thriller, Ramírez joined an all-star international cast including Dennis Quaid, Matthew Fox, William Hurt, Forrest Whitaker, Eduardo Noriega, and Ayelet Zurer. Ramírez plays Javier, an ex-special forces soldier forced to kidnap the American President in order to get his brother back. Upcoming is Cyrano Fernandez, with Ramírez in the title role. This independent production was directed by Alberto Arvelo and is based on the French play Cyrano de Bergerac.
Ramírez at the César awards 2011. Ramírez has appeared in several other productions. Among those are the first part of the two film bundle Ché by Steven Soderbergh, where he played the role of Ciro Redondo (a Cuban revolutionary who fought amongst Ché Guevara), La Hora Cero (The Magic Hour), a short film directed by Guillermo Arriaga, the acclaimed screenwriter of Amores Perros, 21 Grams and Babel (Mexico); Plan B, directed by Alejandro García Wiederman (Venezuela); Yotama se va volando (Yotama Flies Away), directed by Luis Armando Roche (Venezuela-France); Punto y raya (Step Forward), directed by Elia K. Schneider (Venezuela-Spain-Chile-Uruguay), submitted by Venezuela for Oscar consideration for 2004 Best Foreign Film, in which he played Colombian soldier Pedro.
In 2007, he played the role of Paz, a Blackbriar assassin, in The Bourne Ultimatum. In the original Bourne Ultimatum, the villain is Illich Ramirez Sanchez, aka Carlos the Jackal. Ramírez went on to play the role of the actual Carlos in the 2010 French-German limited series Carlos. At the French César Awards 2011, he was awarded, for the film version of the TV series, the César Award for Most Promising Actor. Ramírez has also given his voice to language learning education, guest-starring on the audio CD supplement to the Fluenz Spanish 1 DVD software.
Ramírez appeared in the Clash of the Titans (2010) sequel, Wrath of the Titans (2012), playing Ares, the God of War. Also in 2012, he played Larry in the Kathryn Bigelow film, Zero Dark Thirty.
Edgar Filiberto Ramírez supports the campaign "No Dispares" (Don't Shoot), by Amnesty International, the international human-rights organization. The campaign's purpose is to eliminate the number of injuries and deaths caused by the irresponsible use of guns
Ramírez was also part of "5 Senses in Action", an organization which benefits children with special needs. On 13 July 2008, Ramírez took part in an outdoor activity that stimulated sensory experience through gestures, playing and singing for congenitally deaf and/or blind children
On 12 November 2010, Ramírez was named a Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), at an event held at the Hotel Eurobuilding Caracas, and attended by personalities from the country's diplomatic corps. The UNICEF representative in Venezuela, Nadya Vásquez, said the organization has established in recent years an alliance with the actor "through which it is provided to support activities directly related to violence prevention campaigns".
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