Archive for the ‘Gallery Update’ Category
  July 27, 2022
  Posted by Mouza
  Feature, Gallery Update, Interview, Photoshoot

In her new Apple TV+ series Surface, which premieres on Friday, Gugu Mbatha-Raw portrays Sophie, a woman with amnesia who’s trying to piece her life back together. “She doesn’t know who she is, and that was quite a unique challenge as an actor,” Mbatha-Raw tells Vogue. “When you’re creating a character, you often start with a backstory and build their childhood and experiences. For me, it was really liberating, as I had to start from a much more intuitive and sensory place.”

For the new psychological thriller, Mbatha-Raw also serves as an executive producer for the very first time. She says she was drawn to being a part of the project after learning it was being produced by Reese Witherspoon’s media company, Hello Sunshine. “Knowing their ethos and the type of projects that they put together—which are very female focused stories, and empowering women both in front and behind the camera—it was really a no brainer,” says Mbatha-Raw. “[Creator] Veronica West’s script was also just so brilliantly written and mysterious.”

To celebrate the new series last night, Mbatha-Raw, Witherspoon, and more attended the official premiere at New York City’s Morgan Library. “It was pretty special to see Surface on the big screen and with an audience,” says Mbatha-Raw. “Because of COVID, I had only ever seen the show on my own, so to be able to watch it with other people and the rest of the cast and crew was amazing.” The stylish star, who brings easy elegance to the red carpet, brought out a stellar fashion look for the occasion.

Working with stylist Leith Clark, hairstylist Nai’Vasha Grace, and makeup artist Vincent Oquendo, the star wore a draped Alexander McQueen gown in green poly faille, with a built-in cape detail. “The structure of the dress was so striking, and had real architecture to it,” says Mbatha-Raw. “There’s something about this dress that’s very feminine, but it also has an edge to it, which is something you always find with McQueen.” A Brit herself, she said the late designer is still one of her favorites, and this is her first time wearing the label on a red carpet. “I love that there’s a lot of fabric and pleating,” she says. “It’s very interesting—it’s not uniform.”

The star adds that she’s been going through a real green fashion phase lately (last week, for instance, she wore a fringed emerald green Dior dress). “Green is the color of the Heart Chakra,” says Mbatha-Raw. “I love what green represents: life and freshness.” Even her Cartier jewels last night—a High Jewelry bracelet and earrings made of platinum, diamonds, and peridots—were green. When it comes to red carpet dressing in general, Mbatha-Raw says she always looks for a sense of ease. “I like to feel confident and powerful,” she says. “I want to feel like I’m wearing something that I can have a great time in.” [More at Source]

  July 27, 2022
  Posted by Mouza
  Feature, Gallery Update, Photoshoot

 

Sophie, a wealthy Silicon Valley wife whose hobbies include looking at drawers full of her jewellery and attending champagne galas, proved surprisingly low-maintenance as a role for Gugu Mbatha-Raw. The British actor did not undertake her normal levels of research for the part in new psychological thriller Surface, but that’s not because Sophie is straightforward. Far from it — she is enigmatic, complex and suffering amnesia after plunging from a ferry into the sea.

“The character was starting off very much a blank slate,” Mbatha-Raw says over Zoom from a hotel room in New York. “I’m building Sophie as she’s building herself, as we’re experiencing her on screen. It was liberating . . . the acting [had] to stay open and . . . open-eyed, absorbing the world.” 

Sophie is also trying to figure out what would make her attempt suicide. “At the beginning she is quite vulnerable, looking to the men in her life to tell her who she is and to define her,” Mbatha-Raw says. There’s a particular tension with her husband, James (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) — “Is he very loving or is it verging into control?” As the mystery deepens, Sophie reasons she didn’t jump but was pushed.

While the amnesiac role required less research, the show, directed by Sam Miller (I May Destroy You), demanded more of Mbatha-Raw because she was involved behind the scenes as an executive producer. The 39-year-old was lured by the “big draw” of Reese Witherspoon’s production company, Hello Sunshine, which made the big-budget Apple TV series The Morning Show (in which Mbatha-Raw also had a prominent role). She was attracted by its mission to create “female-centred stories and empowering women”. [More at Source]

  July 26, 2022
  Posted by Mouza
  Feature, Gallery Update, Photoshoot

A few minutes into “Surface,” a new eight-part series from Apple TV+, the central character, Sophie, played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw, asks her therapist a question:

“If my life was so perfect, why did I try to end it?”

Sophie, who has amnesia after a suicide attempt, has a handsome, wealthy and devoted husband, a World of Interiors-worthy townhouse with a panoramic view of San Francisco, a fun best-girlfriend and a killer wardrobe. She is also beautiful — obviously, since she is played by Mbatha-Raw, the British actress who rose to prominence playing the title role in Amma Asante’s 2014 feature “Belle.”

Mbatha-Raw, 39, has worked prolifically in film and television over the past decade, with starring roles in Gina Prince-Bythewood’s “Beyond the Lights,” the Marvel series “Loki” and, most recently, the Apple TV+ series “The Morning Show.”

But with “Surface,” which will premiere on Friday, Mbatha-Raw is leading a major series for the first time, and also stepping into new terrain as an executive producer of the show, created and written by Veronica West (“High Fidelity,” 2020).

Sophie’s question is the driving force of the show, which West said was inspired by the 1962 Alain Resnais film “Last Year at Marienbad.” Why did Sophie try to kill herself? Did she try to kill herself?

In a recent interview at a London hotel, Mbatha-Raw said she was drawn to “the fact that Sophie herself is the mystery,” adding, “There are amnesia dramas, but I hadn’t seen this with a woman who looks like me at the center.”

The role, she said, had forced her to abandon her usual scrupulous preparation for playing a character. “She is a blank slate, she is looking for clues, and her information comes from those around her,” Mbatha-Raw said. “It was the opposite of creating a back story; here I was building the character as Sophie is building herself throughout the show.”

It was strange to work on playing a married couple when only one character knows the history of the relationship, said Oliver Jackson-Cohen, who plays James, Sophie’s husband. “There are so many different versions of Sophie, and so many versions of Sophie and James,” he said in a telephone interview. “But that’s true of our lives.”

Sophie exists in “two realities,” said Ari Graynor, who plays her best friend, Caroline. “The external reality she is interacting with, and her internal reality of trying to put everything together. Gugu has a gift of allowing both these realities to be simultaneously felt with layers of sensitivity and subtlety and precision.” [More at Source]

  July 26, 2022
  Posted by Mouza
  Gallery Update, Public Appearances

I’ve updated the gallery with photos of Gugu attending the New York premiere of “Surface”. She walked the red carpet with her co-star Oliver Jackson-Cohen.

  July 23, 2022
  Posted by Mouza
  Gallery Update, Interview, Public Appearances, Video

Gugu stopped by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to promote the upcoming release of Surface on Apple TV+. Check out the video below then head to the gallery for photos.

 

  July 05, 2022
  Posted by Mouza
  Gallery Update, Public Appearances

I’ve updated the gallery with photos fo Gugu attending the Serpentine Summer Evening in June 30. She was attending alongside Erdem Moralıoğlu while wearing the label.

  March 12, 2022
  Posted by Mouza
  Gallery Update, Public Appearances

Gugu has done it and with 2022 we saw her attending her first International Fashion Week during the busiest 2 weeks of my life and what beautiful looks she have blessed us with! Instead of doing multiple posts I decided to put it all one in master post for everyone to browse at their own pace.

In total, Gugu have attended 3 different fashion shows and we got both inside & outside photos from every show on top of the British Vogue coverage that I ended up splitting into 2 different sets, so let’s dig in.

February 27: Gugu attended the Giorgio Armani show, check out the street style photos and Gugu getting ready courtesy of British Vogue.

  
February 28: Gugu getting ready for the Armani Crossroad Dinner.

March 01: Gugu attended the Dior show, we have street style photos and Front Row shots.

March 03: Gugu attended the Chloe show, we have street style photos and Front Row shots.

  February 17, 2022
  Posted by Mouza
  Feature, Gallery Update, Interview, Photoshoot

There’s no shortage of weird landlord stories out there, but The Girl Before brings the concept to a whole new level. In it, Gugu Mbatha-Raw (of The Morning Show and Loki) plays Jane, a woman recovering from a recent trauma. She seizes a chance to shed the past—and a lot of her stuff—by moving into a sleek, inexplicably affordable jaw-dropper of a house. The only conditions are that the house will collect data on her (it’s rigged up like a giant “smart” device), and that she must follow a lengthy and exacting list of rules (no gardening, no pictures on the wall, etc.) set by Edward, the home’s mysterious owner and architect [played by David Oyelowo]. In time, Jane learns that Edward has some demons of his own involving the home’s previous tenant Emma [played by Jessica Plummer] who, unsettlingly, turns out to look a lot like Jane.

The four-episode miniseries, based on the best-selling novel by J.P. Delaney (who wrote and executive produced the adaptation) and directed by Lisa Brühlmann (Emmy-nominated for her work on Killing Eve) takes viewers through a harrowing psychological labyrinth filled with twists and turns. But the show was also a head trip for its costars Mbatha-Raw and Plummer, as the cast and crew often struggled to tell the two women apart. Recently, the pair caught up via Zoom, and discussed the eerie feeling of playing doppelgängers, their landlord horror stories, and the show’s recent HBO Max release. — EVELINE CHAO

GUGU MBATHA-RAW: You read a lot of psychological thrillers?

JESSICA PLUMMER: Yeah, it’s my go-to genre. Normally it takes me a few days to get through a script, but this one, I literally sat down and read in one sitting.

MBATHA-RAW: It’s such a page-turner, isn’t it? I love that the show has two female leads, which is so refreshing. And it’s stylish, but has substance. It looks really glossy and cool, with the clothes and the house and the architecture, but the characters have all of these deep, emotional things going on.

PLUMMER: Absolutely.

MBATHA-RAW: Tell me about the process of getting into Emma. It’s funny, because we never really acted together. So David [Oyelowo] and Ben [Hardy] know your process much more than I do.

PLUMMER: You know what’s so funny? I actually watched an interview you had done, I think ages ago. You spoke about giving your characters a scent, and I was like, oh my god, I’m doing that.

MBATHA-RAW: Wait, you chose a scent for Emma? What was it?

PLUMMER: Jo Malone Lime Basil and Mandarin.

MBATHA-RAW: This is amazing. Jane’s was Le Labo Rose.

PLUMMER: That’s so funny, I almost gave Emma a rose scent.

MBATHA-RAW: Girls connected.

PLUMMER: I know. I thought a rose perfume would be good for Emma, but when I sprayed it on myself, I felt like it needed to have a bit more zing.

MBATHA-RAW: That totally makes sense, because anything citrus has that zing. I feel like Emma, and you naturally, have that vivacious and bright energy. With Le Labo Rose, I wanted something that feels a bit more heavy and sophisticated. Also because of the rose quartz, which both our characters share. [More at Source]

  December 21, 2021
  Posted by Mouza
  Feature, Gallery Update, Interview, Photoshoot

Gugu Mbatha-Raw is on a quest. For a cup of tea. It doesn’t seem like too much to ask: after all, it is mid-afternoon and we have met at the grandest hotel in San Francisco, the Fairmont, which sits atop Nob Hill. She has a word with the concierge who says that unfortunately tea is unavailable at this hour and advises us to try another hotel nearby. So off we go into the sunshine, Mbatha-Raw joking about how hopeless the Americans are at tea anyway: ‘You get hot water and a teabag on the side and they haven’t even taken it out of the wrapping.’

The next hotel, almost equally luxurious, seems to confirm this. ‘Tea?’ asks the host in the lobby café. ‘Of course.’ He directs us towards a hot-water dispenser and some paper cups. Mbatha-Raw and I look at each other, slightly aghast. ‘We’re so British,’ Mbatha-Raw explains politely. ‘Where can we just sit down and get tea?’

‘Ah yes,’ says the host, with just a flicker of a smile. ‘Have a seat and John will be over to serve you your tea.’

At last we are settled comfortably in a corner with a pot of Earl Grey and some milk on the side. The café is quite crowded but, although she is now one of the most high-profile British actresses in the US, Mbatha-Raw goes unnoticed. Dressed in faded grey jeans, a white shirt and a big yellow scarf, she does not draw attention to herself: ‘I’m living out of a suitcase at the moment, so [I just wear] what’s not too crumpled. Normally I’m top to toe in black, so you’ve got me on quite a bright day.’ She is especially pleased with her beige suede Isabel Marant boots. ‘I stole them from The Girl Before [her current BBC series]; they were for [somebody else’s character] and they didn’t fit. So I thought, “As no one’s wearing them…” Hilarious. I don’t often steal things from shows.’

People often can’t quite place her. ‘Sometimes they say, “You’re an actress, aren’t you? What have I seen you in?’ And it’s always cringey because it could be so many things and I don’t really want to stand there and list my whole CV and they’re going, “No, no, no…”’

It’s certainly an impressive CV. There was her breakout role in the award-winning period drama Belle, the riotous Misbehaviour with Keira Knightley, and the neo-noir crime drama Motherless Brooklyn with Alec Baldwin. (Mbatha-Raw and I meet a couple of weeks after he accidentally shot dead a cinematographer, which she describes as ‘a shocking tragedy’.) More recently, she has played celebrity wrangler Hannah in the Apple TV+ drama series The Morning Show, executive-produced by Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon. And she stars in the 2021 Marvel TV series Loki with Tom Hiddleston, who was at Rada at the same time as Mbatha-Raw. [More at Source]

  December 21, 2021
  Posted by Mouza
  Feature, Gallery Update, Interview, Photoshoot

As those of us who have spent more time than usual at home over the last couple of years will know, those four walls can be a sanctuary, prison or, at times, both. Beautiful, monolithic and eerily empty, the house in the new BBC/HBO drama The Girl Before is definitely both. “The house,” says Gugu Mbatha-Raw with a laugh, “is the real star.” At one point in the first episode, Mbatha-Raw’s character Jane appears to have developed an intense relationship with it, caressing its smooth stone and glass.

In The Girl Before, adapted from the bestselling psychological thriller by JP Delaney, Jane passes a rigorous vetting process before being allowed to rent this minimalist dream home. In return for cheap rent, she has to agree to around 200 strange and stringent rules set by the architect and owner. “No books?” she says, incredulous, when the estate agent reels off some of the stipulations (no pictures, no ornaments, “no children, obviously”). Jane will be watched, her every move and metric monitored, even her moods influenced, by the technologically advanced house and its creepy creator. She soon finds out that she is the second tenant – and she makes a chilling discovery about the first, Emma (played by Jessica Plummer).

Mbatha-Raw does not seem so attached to houses. She bought one in Oxfordshire last year, but has barely had a chance to live there. She is, she says, “a nomad for work”. When we meet in a central London restaurant, Mbatha-Raw has not long returned from Vancouver where she was filming the lead role in Surface, a drama for Apple TV+. Before that, she was in Atlanta, filming the Marvel fantasy series Loki, in which she plays the judge Ravonna Renslayer. The fact that The Girl Before was so different to Loki appealed to her; from period drama to fantasy to Shakespeare to futuristic love stories (she starred in San Junipero, still regarded as the most uplifting episode of Black Mirror), Mbatha-Raw seems resistant to typecasting. “I’d never done a psychological thriller before,” she says, remembering when she read the script for The Girl Before. “I also loved the fact that it was female-driven; there wasn’t just one great female part, but two.”

Both Emma and Jane have a relationship with the architect-owner, Edward, played by David Oyelowo, who is extremely controlling (and quite possibly murderous). Control seems to be the main theme, not just in Edward’s abusive coercive control-type behaviour, but something all the characters are trying to wrestle with, often as a result of grief or loss. “I looked at it as a journey for Jane, getting her power back,” says Mbatha-Raw.

I can’t say I loved the book, with its nasty undercurrents and excruciatingly unsexy dialogue; Edward is not only extremely controlling, he is also a finickity bore, obsessed with limescale deposits and where his olive oil comes from. But if anyone can infuse him with grace and charisma, it’s Oyelowo, and the calibre of the team – not just the cast, but the director Lisa Brühlmann, who has directed episodes of Killing Eve – is reassuringly high.

Mbatha-Raw, in her first producing role, brought Oyelowo, who is a friend, on board. She was also a producer on Surface, which is being made by Reese Witherspoon’s production company, Hello Sunshine. The experience of being a producer, she says, has been interesting, “because, in some ways it validates the opinions or ideas that you may have, but perhaps it’s not your place to say, or you’re encouraged to stay in your lane as an actor.” Has she felt unable to speak up before? “Not personally,” she says. “I know other actors who have felt that way.” [More at Source]