The Oscar nominees for Best Actor including Chiwetel Ejiofor for "12 Years a Slave" are announced by actor Chris Hemsworth (L) and Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Cheryl Boone Isaacs at the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre in Beverly Hills, California on January 16, 2014. The 86th annual Academy Awards will take place March 2. UPI/Jim Ruymen | License Photo
Jan. 16 (UPI) -- CNN business correspondent Zain Asher couldn't help but get emotional over her brother's expected and deserved Oscar nomination for Best Actor on Thursday.
In an appearance on the network Thursday, Asher said that her family had been "hoping" Chiwetel Ejiofor would be recognized one day for his efforts.
"This was so emotional for me because -- I'm going to try not to cry -- but this is a day that my family has been hoping for, and waiting for, for such a long time. Chiwetel has been acting since he was 13 years old. Oh my god, I told myself I wasn't going to cry, but I do feel so emotional right now."
Asher added that Ejiofor was the only surviving member of a car crash in which their father had died.
"It is a kind of sad day as well because my father isn't alive anymore, so he can't see this," she said. “That chance at life that [Chiwetel] was given -- he really has gone on to make the most of it.”
"Thank you so much everyone! My family is very excited for Chiwetel. Very emotional day! #Oscars #12yearsaSlave," Asher tweeted later.
Ejiofor also released a statement about the Oscar nod:
At no point during filming, in the sweltering heat of New Orleans, did any of us ever foresee the journey this film would take us all on. [Director] Steve McQueen created an entire family to tell one man's tale and I am delighted that so many of this family have also been recognized today. I am hugely grateful to the Academy for this great honor, and, of course, to Solomon Northup for sharing his story through his breathtaking book.
[Us Weekly, The Wrap]