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Gugu Mbatha-Raw Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Trivia (9) | Personal Quotes (24)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 21 April 1983Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, UK
Birth NameGugulethu Sophia Mbatha
Height 5' 4" (1.63 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Gugu Mbatha-Raw was born Gugulethu Sophia Mbatha in the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, England. Her father, Patrick Mbatha, is a Black South African doctor, and her mother, Anne Raw, is a Caucasian English nurse. Her parents separated when she was a year old, and she was brought up by her mother in the town of Witney, Oxfordshire (she is still close to her father). She joined the local acting group Dramascope and, from the age of eleven, appeared in the pantomime at Oxford Playhouse every year. A talented singer and dancer as well as playing the saxophone, she joined the Oxford Youth Music Theatre in her teens.

In 2001, she won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London. Since graduation in 2004, she has appeared in all media, including as an acclaimed Juliet Capulet in "Romeo and Juliet" at Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre in 2005, opposite Andrew Garfield as Romeo Montague. Mbatha-Raw was nominated for Best Actress in the Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards for her portrayal of Juliet Capulet. She also appeared as Octavia in "Antony and Cleopatra" at the same theatre in 2005. In 2009, she was cast as Ophelia in "Hamlet" on London's West End and Broadway, opposite Jude Law as the title role.

Mbatha-Raw appeared on such varied television series as Bad Girls (1999), Doctor Who (2005), Agatha Christie's Marple (2004) and Touch (2012). She had a supporting role in the romantic comedy Larry Crowne (2011), written and directed by Tom Hanks, who also played the title role. She was acclaimed for her performance of Dido Elizabeth Belle in Amma Asante's Belle (2013), which earned her a British Independent Film Award for Best Actress, and a nomination as Most Promising Newcomer. She was also nominated for a Satellite Award for Best Actress.

She starred in the romantic drama Beyond the Lights (2014) and was nominated for a Gotham Award for Best Actress for her performance. In 2015, she was nominated for a BAFTA Rising Star Award. That same year, she had a supporting role in Jupiter Ascending (2015), played Prema Mutiso, the wife of Dr. Bennet Omalu (played by Will Smith) in the biopic Concussion (2015), and the title role in Jessica Swale's play "Nell Gwynn", playing the actress who became the mistress of King Charles II of England. She was nominated for an Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actress for her performance in the play.

She played Rachel in Newton Knight's biopic Free State of Jones (2016), directed by Gary Ross, playing Knight's common-law wife, a freedwoman he had a family with after the Civil War. She also played Esme Manucharian in Miss Sloane (2016), Sophie on Netflix's series Easy (2016), and played Kelly, one of the leads in "San Junipero", the fourth episode of Season 3 of Black Mirror (2011). Her upcoming projects are Beauty and the Beast (2017), in which she plays Plumette, and a film adaptation of Roxane Gay's novel "An Untamed State", directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: don @ minifie-1

Trivia (9)

Her name is pronounced "Goo-Goo mBAH-tah Raw". Her birth name, "Gugulethu", is a contraction of "igugu lethu", that means "Our Pride" in Zulu.
Attended the Henry Box School and participated in the National Youth Music Theatre, having been interested in drama, dance, and musical theatre at a young age.
Trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London, England.
Was one of the eight women honored at the 2014 ELLE Women in Hollywood Awards for their creative contributions to the world of film.
On July 1, 2011, she was named one of 42 Brits to Watch by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
Nominated for an Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actress for her performance in the play "Nell Gwynn" (2015).
Shared the cover of Vanity Fair magazine's 2016 Hollywood issue with, Jane Fonda, Viola Davis, Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Lawrence, Rachel Weisz, Lupita Nyong'o, Brie Larson, Alicia Vikander, Charlotte Rampling, Helen Mirren, Diane Keaton and Saoirse Ronan. Photographed by Annie Leibovitz.
Ranked as having one of the "Most Beautiful Famous Faces" by TC Candler's list of the "100 Most Beautiful Famous Faces From Around the World" for three consecutive years. She was ranked #33 in 2016, #22 in 2015 and #15 in 2014.
She was awarded the MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2017 Queen's Birthday Honours List for her services to Drama. She is an actress in Oxfordshire, England.

Personal Quotes (24)

I try not to limit myself. The actors that inspire me are the comedians and the people able to shape-shift into different roles and into different media. That ensures your longevity as an artist and prevents you from getting bored with yourself and, hopefully, prevents people from getting bored with you.
As a biracial girl growing up in England, I'd never really seen any historical characters who looked like me depicted on film before that weren't being brutalized or playing slaves.
I always get a little bit scared reading reviews.
I think, irrespective of your race, everybody has moments in life where they don't fit in, or where they try to puzzle through who they really are or to find the courage of their convictions.
[on cooking] I don't really have one dish. I'm a very improvisational cook. I sort of like to make things up as I go along. I'm quite creative in the kitchen.
I like being free to take on any project that inspires me and to trust that the work will speak for itself.
I was lucky that my mother had a very well-adjusted perspective of the world, and never pressured me to do anything I didn't want to do.
I try to put myself into whatever character I play. As an actress, I'm an emotional person.
I was always the one leading the way in terms of wanting to do acting, singing and dancing.
I think there are parts of myself in every character I play.
Because of my job, my hair gets played with a lot on set, so I try to give it little bit of breathing space when I'm not working.
Different fragrances promote different emotions, and I find that fragrance gets me in the frame of mind for that person.
But when you become a slave to a public persona and don't feel comfortable without it, it becomes a shield and it shouldn't come at the expense of your self-worth.
I try not to define myself. Other people are going to do that for you anyway.
Don't worry about society's conditioning and the labels that are put on you by external forces. Hold onto your true self.
It is important to be conscious of the message that you're putting out there. It takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get a movie to the screen. I do feel a certain element of responsibility to say something worth saying with it, as well as entertainment.
I enjoy classics, but classics are classics for a reason.
For me, after emotionally intense roles, I'd need to take a step back because then there's the promoting of the film which is another job in itself.
From the age of four, I loved ballet and tap. I was in the school band, the choir, and all my school plays.
I'm interested in playing lots of different complex women.
For me, it was all about working with an inspirational filmmaker.
It's not often that you get a chance in one role to do the glamour bit and then strip off all the makeup and reveal the real person beneath the facade. Usually, it's either a glamorous role or a raw, emotional role.
Because I had grown up with Jane Austen novels and period dramas, I was very familiar with that period and that world.
At home, I wear my own clothes, no makeup and don't do anything exciting with my hair. I get to borrow pretty dresses for the red carpet, and have experts do my hair and makeup.

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