June 14, 2021
  Posted by Mouza
  Feature, Gallery Update, Interview, Photoshoot


Whether she’s seeking out meaningful roles or dedicating her time to working closely with charities, finding a sense of purpose is what continues to drive GUGU MBATHA-RAW – both personally and professionally. Here, the British actor talks to AJESH PATALAY about her valiant new role in Marvel’s Disney+ series, Loki, and the work that sustains her spirit

You’ve got to hand it to Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Not only for landing the lead role in the hugely anticipated Disney+ series Loki, opposite Tom Hiddleston, but for having walked away from comparable superhero roles in the past. “There have been a few I’ve auditioned for and not got,” the 35-year-old actor tells me. “And one or two [that] I got and turned down.” Why was that? “Sometimes [the role] was so secretive, I was like, I’m not signing up to something where I don’t know what it is. Sometimes I wasn’t sure the character was going to have enough layers. Sometimes the tone of the piece just wasn’t to my taste: how the violence is depicted, how the women are represented. Those things are important to me.”

Loki was appealingly different, though. “For a start, it was exciting that Kate Herron was directing all six episodes,” Mbatha-Raw says of the writer-director who gained recognition for Netflix’s Sex Education. “Also, having been to drama school with Tom Hiddleston, there was a lovely circle of life about working on something together at this point.” Both studied at London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, though Mbatha-Raw was in the year above (she graduated in 2004), so they didn’t share any classes. But the future God of Mischief still made an impression: “He was blond. Sort of angelic. He seemed very…” she casts around for the right description, “centered is probably the best word”. As for her, she was “a keen bean”, straight out of school, newly moved to London from Oxfordshire, where she grew up, and living her lifelong dream of becoming an actor.

The big clincher for Mbatha-Raw about Loki – which is based on Hiddleston’s character in the Thor and Avenger movies – was getting to play Ravonna Renslayer, a role with a rich and turbulent history in the comics. “It was very much pitched to me as her origin story,” Mbatha-Raw explains. “That was exciting, to be able to take ownership of a character pre the comics. She’s an authoritative character. Morally ambiguous. She has to make some difficult choices. I loved that there is a complexity to her that I hadn’t seen in any of the [superhero] roles that had come my way before.” [More at Source]

  April 17, 2021
  Posted by Mouza
  Feature, Gallery Update, Photoshoot

David Oyelowo: It’s so specific to be Black, British, of African descent, living in Los Angeles and working in Hollywood. I can count the people I know like that on one hand. Among them is Chiké, who is one of my best friends in the world. He’s been there for so many of the milestones in my life, and my kids consider him an uncle. Through him I met Gugu, and one of the things she and I bonded over is that we were both born in Oxford — at the same hospital. Gugu is one of the loveliest people I know, and one of the most humble and unassuming, especially considering how talented she is.

Aml and I found each other when he started to dip his toe in the L.A. scene. He has an entrepreneurial spirit that, to be perfectly honest, isn’t encouraged in British culture. I always felt like he would do great things, especially in the States. Malachi and I met through a program at BAFTA; he’s been my mentee for four or five years now. And I met Cynthia in L.A. She’s also of Nigerian descent, but we really bonded over the fact that when she was cast as Harriet Tubman in “Harriet” (2019), she got some flak because she was a Black British actress playing an African-American icon. I experienced some of that when I played Dr. King in “Selma” (2014), so I became a sounding board for her.

These are friends with whom I share an outlook on life and interests, whether it’s our faith, our culture or our aspirations. To be Black in America is to sometimes feel gaslit, so it’s important to have people around you who get it, who help you remember that you’re not crazy. And then, of course, central to any great friendship is encouraging one another, cheerleading from the sidelines and really making sure the people you love see how you see them.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw: Chiké, who is one of my oldest friends, introduced me to David on my first trip to L.A. around 2010. I remember going to David’s house, getting frozen yogurt in Sherman Oaks with his kids and his wife and thinking, “This is amazing — they seem so normal and cool!” He was one of the first Black British actors I met in the States, and it was nice to have a friend in the industry with whom I had a shared cultural experience. Cynthia and I were both at RADA, though at completely different times, so that’s the connective tissue there. And Aml and I worked together when we were 20 and 22, respectively, on the TV movie “Fallout” (2008), and again on the film “Beyond the Lights” (2014). It was such a great experience. And we kept in touch. Even if you’re not working together, it’s wonderful to have someone to call for advice and support. [more at source]

  April 14, 2021
  Posted by Mouza
  Gallery Update, Public Appearances

Gugu hit the the town a few days ago and walked her first red carpet of the year by attending the 74th British Academy Film Awards. Gugu looked gorgeous in a Louis Vuitton dress and shoes, Messika jewelry and a Simone Rocha bag. Check out the video below for her segment presenting with her Loki co-star Tom Hiddleston.

  April 05, 2021
  Posted by Mouza
  Television Projects, Video

  January 08, 2021
  Posted by Mouza
  Movie Projects, News

Here’s a hot new transatlantic project to start 2021: The Morning Show star Gugu Mbatha-Raw is set to be cast as the lead in a BBC adaptation of JP Delaney’s best-selling psychological thriller The Girl Before.

Deadline can reveal that 42, the UK production outfit behind Netflix’s The English Game and the Emmy-winning BBC/Netflix animation Watership Down, is behind the four-part BBC One series, which will shoot this year. The Girl Before originally was optioned for a feature by Universal Pictures in 2015, with Ron Howard attached to direct, but now looks set to make its screen debut on television in 2021.

The Girl Before follows Jane, a traumatized woman who falls in love with an extraordinary minimalist house, which remains under the spell of the architect who originally designed it. But when she discovers that another damaged woman died in the same One Folgate Street property three years earlier, she starts to wonder if her own story is just a rerun of the girl before.

British actress Mbatha-Raw will play Jane in what represents her latest eye-catching role. Following the success of The Morning Show, in which she played an ambitious breakfast-TV guest booker, she was cast in Apple TV+ series Surface, which comes from Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine. She is attached to Blood Ties, an Aaron Katz (Gemini)-directed drama based on a Nathan Heller New Yorker article. She can next be seen in Disney+’s Marvel series also Loki, which premieres in May, and feature Seacole. [more at source]

  December 11, 2020
  Posted by Mouza
  Television Projects, Video

  October 15, 2020
  Posted by Mouza
  News

Dame Emma Thompson, Claire Foy and Florence Pugh are among the actresses who will lend their voices to new Jane Austen audiobooks. Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Billie Piper will also take part in The Jane Austen Collection for Audible, featuring six of the author’s best-loved novels. Each story will be a hybrid of narration and full cast dramatisation. The Morning Show star Mbatha-Raw will narrate Sense And Sensibility, about the Dashwood sisters and their pursuit of happiness. Foy will read Pride And Prejudice, telling the story of the Bennet family and their five unmarried daughters as they seeks to make advantageous matches. [Source]

  October 09, 2020
  Posted by Mouza
  Interview, Video

  August 29, 2020
  Posted by Mouza
  Movie Projects, Video

  August 07, 2020
  Posted by Mouza
  Gallery Update, Movie Projects, Stills/Screencaptures

I’ve updated the gallery with high quality screencaptures of Gugu in her newest movie Summerland. The movie is available on VOD in the US & other selected countries and will be available in the UK in August.