Thandie Newton biography 2022

Actress Thandie Newton

Thandie Newton biography

Thandie Newton was born November 6, 1972, in Zambia, Africa.

Her original beauty can be attributed to her mixed heritage: her father, Nick Newton, a British artist, and former laboratory technician, married Nyasha, a Zimbabwean nurse.

Due to political instability in her native Zambia, her family moved to Nick's hometown from Penzance, England, when Thandie was 5. She grew up in England with her younger brother James and was initially passionate about dance.

While studying modern dance at the London Art Educational School, a back injury led her to act when she was forced to miss classes and was encouraged to audition for a film that was looking for new talent at her school. The film that held auditions was titled Flirting by Australian director John Duigan.

Thandie was cast as a Ugandan teenager who falls in love with the lead, Danny Embling. Released in 1991, the film marks her feature film debut and a shift in career goals – especially given the Australian Film Awards she received. While playing "Thandiwe", Thandie befriended co-star, Nicole Kidman.

Incidentally, Flirting was not only the film's name but also what was going on between Thandie and director Duigan when the two were allegedly romantically involved. Duigan played an essential role throughout her film career, directing her in 1995's The Journey of August King, starring Jason Patric, and 1996's The Leading Man, opposite Jon Bon Jovi. After Flirting, Thandie was cast in the 1994 blockbuster, Interview With The Vampire, starring Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, and Kirsten Dunst.

After a role in 1995's Jefferson in Paris, which featured Thandie Newton as Thomas Jefferson's slave mistress, Thandie sought to diversify her acting portfolio (all while studying at Cambridge University for her anthropology degree).

Her role in 1997's Gridlock (co-starring Tim Roth and the late Tupac Shakur in the lead roles) portrays the actress as a heroine-addicted jazz singer.

Thandie received critical praise for the latter, and her skills were further highlighted by her work in Bernardo Bertolucci's Besieged in 1998.

That same year, Thandie starred as the title character in Jonathan Demme's adaptation of the Toni Morrison novel, Beloved. Although "Thandie" literally translates to "beloved," and Thandie herself gave a solid performance, the film bombed at the box office. Thandie was chosen to join Vanity Fair's April 1999 cover of "Up and Comers," although Thandie had not been in a high-profile role.

That would all change in the summer of 2000, when she worked with her former Interview co-star, Tom Cruise, in John Woo's Mission: Impossible 2. As jewel thief Nyah Hall, Thandie stole the show from her co-star and thrilling special effects, and audiences wondered who the "new actress" sharing steamy scenes with Tom Cruise was.

Not only is she far from a new actress, but the chemistry between her and Cruise was definitely acting; she is happily married to screenwriter Oliver Parker, whom she met when she starred in his made-for-TV movie, In Your Dreams.

Thandie was supposed to join Celestial actresses Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz in the film Charlie's Angels (a part where Lucy Lui landed) but had to pass out due to scheduling conflicts.

However, there will be another Charlie in her life as she will star alongside Mark Wahlberg in the film The Truth About Charlie.

Thandie and her husband welcomed a new addition to their family in September 2000, their daughter Ripley.

last updated October 2022

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