Archive for Interview
08 March 2018Posted by Mouza with 0 Comments
For most people, Friday, Feb. 16 was a relatively normal day, if a slightly busier one than usual. The night before, Black Panther hit theaters to much fanfare, and many of us were gearing up for a sunnier-than-normal winter weekend. But for Wrinkle in Time actor Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Feb. 16 had a special meaning. It was the day she decided that after years of standing back and watching everyone else speak up, she wouldn’t — she couldn’t — stay quiet any longer.
“With everything that’s going on in the world, I felt galvanized and inspired by Time’s Up, and I was starting to question whether I was using my voice as efficiently as I could,” she tells me, when we speak shortly after she joined Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook in one fell swoop. “I think as an actress, I’ve always believed maybe an old-fashioned idea that mystique was valuable and all of that stuff in terms of your career and acting,” she continues. “But I just couldn’t deny that what was going on in the world, with the women’s movement especially… it’s better to contribute than shy away and stay silent.”
As one of Hollywood’s most prolific yet enigmatic actors, Mbatha-Raw has spent her career disappearing — into roles, into costumes, seemingly into thin air the moment she’s done promoting a project. Despite her near-constant presence on-screen (in the last five weeks alone, she’s starred in three new movies), fans know little about who she actually is. What she likes, what she believes, what she wants to share with the world have all been a mystery. As her lack of social media showed, there’s long been a thick, impenetrable veil between the actor’s performances and her personal life. [More at source]
08 March 2018Posted by Mouza with 0 Comments
On the dreariest, drizzliest of winter days, Gugu Mbatha-Raw — bundled in a cozy ochre sweater and practical wellies — ducks into a Cobble Hill cafe. As she sits down, the clouds momentarily part, revealing a fleeting patch of blue sky. It’s a fitting entrance for the ebullient actress, whose smart British lilt melts easily into laughter — often at her own expense.
“An Emmy fell on my foot,” she confides to Alexa, flashing back to this year’s ceremony, where her buzzy “San Junipero” episode of the Netflix hit “Black Mirror”won two awards, including Outstanding TV Movie. “My foot instantly turned blue. I put an ice pack on it and then took my shoes off and danced — you have to!”
She lets out a conspiratorial giggle, then clarifies that the statuette belonged to the show’s producers. “I don’t have an actual Emmy, but I now have an Emmy scar. I’ll have that forever.”
Mbatha-Raw, 34, also has a full plate of projects. Up next is the big-budget “A Wrinkle in Time,” headlined by Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling. In the Disney film, out Thursday, Mbatha-Raw plays Dr. Kate Murry, a physicist whose daughter embarks on a quest through space and time to save her father. [more at source]
The photoshoot video is under cut because it autoplays.
01 March 2018Posted by Mouza with 0 Comments
In Hollywood, Black female actresses have been typecast since the beginning. There’s the sassy sidekick, the around-the-way girl, and of course, the mammie, usually found in a period drama set during slavery or the Civil Rights era. It’s a dynamic that’s only recently started to change, thanks to a renaissance in Black television (Shondaland shows, Insecure, Atlanta) and social media movements like #OscarsSoWhite calling out a lack of diversity in film.
But somehow, during a period when the entertainment industry failed to support both people of color and women, Gugu Mbatha-Raw has quietly been breaking barriers for years. She’s a Black woman who managed to escape the expected archetypes, a chameleon who has played everyone from the lead officer on a space mission to a bisexual beachtown party girl to an animated feather duster. A veteran of British television and theater, Mbatha-Raw broke into Hollywood in 2013 as the shy, mixed-race 18th century hero of the movie Belle, and became known for her poised and powerful performances.
Since then, she’s starred in nearly a dozen major movies. But it’s 2018 that is finally the year of Gugu: Before the end of March, she will have starred in four films — including Disney’s big-budget, Ava Duvernay-directed adaptation of A Wrinkle In Time.“I guess you could call this my ‘moment,’ but that doesn’t seem fair, because I’ve worked really hard my entire career!” Mbatha-Raw says slowly. She has a habit of taking a few beats to thoughtfully consider her responses before answering. “As an actor, you have power over your performance, but no power over the distribution or timetable. So it just so happens this is all coming out at the same time. But I guess I should embrace the ride!” [More at source]
20 January 2018Posted by Mouza with 0 Comments
With a huge thanks to Aina for the tip, Gugu is featured in the February issue of Essence magazine. She looks gorgeous in the shoot inspired by her idols Prince, Billie Holliday, Angela Davis, and Cleopatra! Check out the full shoot included in the digital scans and the article.
06 March 2017Posted by Mouza with 0 Comments
She’s one of Oprah’s favourite actresses, has the Streep seal of approval and is starring alongside Emma Watson and Ewan McGregor in Beauty and the Beast. Meet Gugu Mbatha-Raw, an Oxford girl done very, very good.
You don’t forget your first . At least Gugu Mbatha-Raw won’t. The woman she now calls her ‘fairy godmother’ – but had never met at the time – left her a voicemail four years ago, when Gugu was in a New York cab on her way to JFK.
‘When I listened to the message, it was the weirdest thing,’ she says, succumbing to a fit of giggles. ‘Because at that time I was doing Oprah’s meditation experience with Deepak Chopra, where they email you a short meditation each day. Then suddenly I get this lovely rich voice saying, “Hello, this is Oprah” – and it sounded just like the opening of the meditation app. I thought I’d pressed the wrong button by mistake.’
14 February 2017Posted by Mouza with 0 Comments
She’s in New York a week before Christmas—a stopover to see friends, have lunch with a director, and check out Othello, the Off-Broadway show no one else can manage to get tickets to. She has a good in: The guy who plays Othello, David Oyelowo, stars opposite her in J. J. Abrams’s new Cloverfield movie, out this fall. Mbatha-Raw is also in one of the few reboots Abrams isn’t responsible for: Beauty and the Beast (March 17), in which she plays a French maid turned singing and dancing feather duster. Portraying a Swiffer is a nice break from the dark (and moving) roles she’s taken recently, including a victim of gun violence in Miss Sloane and a terminally ill bisexual woman who becomes trapped in a computer simulation on Black Mirror. “I love tragedy, but you can’t do it all the time—it’s way too draining,” she says. [Source]
23 October 2016Posted by Mouza with 0 Comments
“We were in this residential area, it was almost like The Truman Show, some of the houses were so new,” remembers Gugu Mbatha-Raw, star of the black comedy’s most intriguing new episode. “At one point this ostrich walked through the housing estate and on to the beach. And he sat down in the sand and started having a sort of sand bath. We were trying to film but, y’know, what do you do if an ostrich wanders into frame? It was so surreal … sort of magical.”
By now the Oxfordshire-born Mbatha-Raw, 33, is au fait enough with TV and film sets to appreciate a little divergence from the norm. Moreover, her schedule has been so non-stop of late that she probably just appreciated the break. [Source]
23 June 2016Posted by Mouza with 0 Comments
If you look at Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s acting career, it takes a while for a pattern to emerge. She first gained attention at 22 as Juliet opposite Andrew Garfield’s Romeo at the renowned Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester. In the criminally overlooked romantic drama Beyond the Lights, by Gina Prince-Bythewood (who made the infamous Love & Basketball over a decade ago), Mbatha-Raw played a struggling pop star. Her “sleeper hit” Belle tells the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, an illegitimate biracial woman brought up as an orphaned member of her father’s aristocratic family. And in her upcoming Oscar bid, Free State of Jones, she stars alongside Matthew McConaughey as a slave fighting for her freedom.
What all these parts have in common: They’re nuanced and ambitious, roles for someone who’s not content to just be the girlfriend or the wife. She talked with the Cut about forging her own path, making it in Hollywood, and what she’s most grateful for. [Source]