Born and raised in London, England to Nigerian immigrants, Akinnuoye-Agbaje initially had a Masters in Law from the University of London but soon commenced a career as a model in Milan, Italy, after which he moved to Los Angeles, California to phase into acting. Also, he portrayed Heavy Duty in G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra".
A Buddhist, Akinnuoye-Agbaje is pacifistic in contrast to his belligerent character Lock-Nah and is fluent in Italian, Yoruba, Swahili and most prominently English. During performances, Akinnuoye-Agbaje puts on a deep African voice, though his real accent is more Cockney.