Letitia Wright

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Letitia Wright
Letitia Wright by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Wright at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con
Born
Letitia Michelle Wright

(1993-10-31) 31 October 1993 (age 27)
Nationality
  • Guyanese
  • British
OccupationActress
Years active2013–present

Letitia Michelle Wright (born 31 October 1993) is a Guyanese-British actress. She began her career with guest roles in the television series Top Boy, Coming Up, Chasing Shadows, Humans, Doctor Who and Black Mirror; for the latter, she received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination. She then had her breakthrough for her role in the 2015 film Urban Hymn,[1] for which the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) named Wright among the 2015 group of BAFTA Breakthrough Brits.

In 2018, she attained global recognition for her portrayal of Shuri in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film Black Panther, for which she won an NAACP Image Award and a SAG Award. She reprised the role in Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019), the latter of which became the highest-grossing film of all time. In 2019, she received the BAFTA Rising Star Award. She also appeared in the 2020 anthology series Small Axe, which earned her a Satellite Award nomination.

Early life[edit]

Letitia Michelle Wright was born on 31 October 1993 in Georgetown, Guyana. Her family moved to London when she was seven years old and she attended school there.[2]

Career[edit]

Wright performed in school plays, but credits her desire to be a professional actress to the 2006 film Akeelah and the Bee. She found Keke Palmer's performance inspiring, remarking that the role "resonated. It's one of the reasons why I'm here".[3] She attended the Identity School of Acting, enrolling at the age of 16.[4][5] She appeared in two episodes of Holby City and Top Boy in 2011.[5] She had a small role in My Brother the Devil in 2012, where she was recognized by Screen International as one of its 2012 Stars of Tomorrow. Michael Caton-Jones cast Wright in her first leading role in Urban Hymn (2015),[5] which brought her to the attention of Hollywood.[2][6] The same year, she appeared in an episode of Doctor Who, and the following year, she began a recurring role as Renie on Humans.[5] During this time, she also appeared in the play Eclipsed in the London's Gate Theatre.[7] In 2017, Wright starred in the Black Mirror episode "Black Museum"; her performance earned her a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie.[4]

Wright co-starred in the 2018 film Black Panther, playing the role of Shuri, King T'Challa's sister and princess of Wakanda.[8] Part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the film also starred Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, and Danai Gurira.[9][10] Wright won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Breakthrough Performance in a Motion Picture for her work in the film,[11] and reprised the role in Avengers: Infinity War, which was released two months later.[12] Also in 2018, Wright appeared as Reb in Steven Spielberg's film adaptation of the 2011 science-fiction novel Ready Player One.[13] Wright features as one of the cameos in Drake's music video for "Nice for What".[14]

In 2018 Wright was also featured in a play called The Convert, which was played at the Young Vic theatre in England/London. The play was based on an English-speaking missionary in the 19th century, where the Africans were trained to speak Victorian English and engage in Christianity. This play was set in 1895, when a Black male catholic teacher and missionary called Chilford occupies a mission house in Rhodesian Salisbury.[15] Wright plays the character of a Jekesai, a young Rhodesia girl that is being forced into marriage by her uncle, but luckily is saved by Chilford.[16]

In 2019, Wright won the BAFTA Rising Star Award.[17] In April 2019, Wright appeared alongside Donald Glover and Rihanna in Guava Island, a short musical film released by Amazon Studios,[18] before reprising her role as Shuri in Avengers: Endgame.[19]

In November 2018 it was announced that Wright would be starring alongside John Boyega in a novel adaptation of Hold Back The Stars.[20] Wright will appear in 2022’s Death on the Nile.[21] She was also cast in Steve McQueen's mini-series Small Axe, set in London's West Indian community between the 1960s and 1980s.[22] In the first episode, Mangrove, which premiered on BBC One on 15 November 2020, Wright plays British Black Panther leader Altheia Jones-LeCointe, who, along with eight other Black activists, was arrested and charged with inciting a riot after a peaceful protest in 1970.[23] Wright won "Best Supporting Actress" nominations for this role, bringing "focussed energy and passion" to her depiction of the real-life Jones-LeCointe, as noted by The New Yorker.[24]

In February 2020 it was announced that Wright had accepted to play twin sisters June and Jennifer Gibbons in the film The Silent Twins, based on the 1986 book of the same name by Marjorie Wallace, with shooting beginning in April.[25] The official release date has yet to be announced.

Personal life[edit]

Wright has opened up about her struggles with depression. In 2018, she told Vanity Fair that when she first experienced depression at the age of 20, she "was in the dark going through so many bad things".[26] Wright credits her Christian faith with helping her overcome the depression, which she discovered after attending a London actors' Bible study meeting.[26] To focus on her recovery and her faith, she turned down film roles.[26] She later explained she "needed to take a break from acting" and "went on a journey to discover my relationship with God, and I became a Christian."[27]

In December 2020, Wright faced backlash over a video she publicly shared on Twitter in which the speaker questioned the safety of taking a COVID-19 vaccine, in addition to "appear[ing] sceptical of climate change, accus[ing] China of spreading COVID-19, and mak[ing] transphobic comments";[28] YouTube subsequently deleted the video for violating its terms of service.[28] Wright later clarified that she "wasn't against vaccines but it was important to 'ask questions'" and "my intention was not to hurt anyone, my ONLY intention of posting the video was it raised my concerns with what the vaccine contains and what we are putting in our bodies."[29][30] She has since quit social media.[30]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2011 Victim Nyla
2012 My Brother the Devil Aisha
2015 Urban Hymn Jamie Harrison
2018 The Commuter Jules Skateboarder [26]
2018 Ready Player One Reb
2018 Black Panther Shuri
2018 Avengers: Infinity War
2019 Guava Island Yara Love Short film [3]
2019 Avengers: Endgame Shuri
2021 Sing 2 (voice) In production [31]
2022 Death on the Nile Rosalie Otterbourne Post-production [21]
TBA Surrounded Moses Washington Post-production; also producer [32]
TBA Silent Twins Post-production [33]

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2011 Holby City Ellie Maynard Episodes: "Tunnel Vision" and "Crossing the Line"
2011 Random Girl 3 TV movie
2011 Top Boy Chantelle 4 episodes
2013 Coming Up Hannah Episode: "Big Girl"
2014 Glasgow Girls Amal TV movie
2014 Chasing Shadows Taylor Davis Episode: "Only Connect"
2015 Banana Vivienne Scott 3 episodes
2015 Cucumber Vivienne Scott 4 episodes
2015 Doctor Who Anahson Episode: "Face the Raven"
2016 Humans Renie 7 episodes
2017 Black Mirror Nish Episode: "Black Museum"
2020 Small Axe Altheia Jones Episode: "Mangrove"

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
2018 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Black Mirror Nominated [5]
2018 Saturn Awards Best Performance by a Younger Actor Black Panther Nominated [34]
2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards Best On-Screen Team Nominated [35]
Scene Stealer Nominated [35]
2018 Teen Choice Awards Choice Sci-Fi Movie Actress Won [36]
Choice Breakout Movie Star Nominated [36]
2019 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Breakthrough Performance in a Motion Picture Won [11]
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture Nominated [37]
2019 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Won [38]
2019 British Academy Film Awards Rising Star Award Herself Won [17]
2020 Chicago Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actress Small Axe Nominated [39]
2020 Satellite Awards Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Nominated [40]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "BAFTA and Burberry Reveal 2015 Breakthrough Brits". BAFTA.org, 10 November 2015. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  2. ^ a b Alberge, Dalya (4 April 2015). "Letitia Wright, Britain's newest rising screen star, says black actors need more positive roles". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 February 2017. Wright, 21....Having been brought up in Tottenham and attending Northumberland Park Community School. Time Out. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  3. ^ a b Rittman, Alex (8 November 2018). "Letitia Wright: Secret Donald Glover Project, Spelling Bees and More Things Left Out of Hollywood Reporter's Cover Story". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Black Panther's Letitia Wright gets Bafta nod". BBC. 3 January 2019. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d e Rittman, Alex (7 November 2018). "'Black Panther' Breakout Letitia Wright on How Faith Rescued Her From a "Very Dark Place"". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  6. ^ Wiggan, Dylan (15 April 2015). "Rising star Letitia Wright 'Black Actors need more positive roles'". House of Black. Archived from the original on 17 February 2017. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
  7. ^ "Eclipsed", Gate Theatre.
  8. ^ "Who is Letitia Wright? The 'Black Panther' breakout star is just getting started". South China Morning Post. Associated Press. 23 February 2018. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  9. ^ Pape, Stefan (26 September 2016). "Exclusive: Letitia Wright on Urban Hymn and working with Spielberg on Ready Player One". heyuguys. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
  10. ^ Kroll, Justin (20 October 2016). "'Black Panther' Adds 'Ready Player One' Actress Letitia Wright (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Archived from the original on 21 October 2016. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  11. ^ a b Kelly, Sonaiya (30 March 2019). "'Black Panther,' 'black-ish' win big at the 50th NAACP Image Awards". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  12. ^ Childs, Joi (16 February 2018). "'Black Panther': How Letitia Wright Became a Marvel Breakout". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  13. ^ Carr, Mary Kate (16 February 2018), "5 things to know about Black Panther breakout star Letitia Wright", EW. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  14. ^ Maicki, Salvatore (7 April 2018). "A breakdown of all the cameos in Drake's 'Nice For What' video". The FADER. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  15. ^ Billington, Michael (22 January 2017). "The Convert review – coming to grips with family and faith in a British colony". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 22 May 2020.
  16. ^ Crompton, Sarah (15 December 2018). "Review: The Convert (Young Vic)". WhatsOnStage. Retrieved 22 May 2020.
  17. ^ a b "Baftas 2019: The Favourite takes home seven awards". BBC. 10 February 2019. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  18. ^ Childish Gambino visitó la Fábrica de Arte Cubano (+ Foto) (in Spanish)
  19. ^ Collins, K. Austin (28 August 2020). "From England With Love". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 18 April 2021.
  20. ^ Galuppo, Mia (8 November 2018), "John Boyega, Letitia Wright to Star in Sci-Fi Love Story 'Hold Back the Stars'", The Hollywood Reporter.
  21. ^ a b Ritman, Alex (18 April 2019). "'Black Panther' Breakout Letitia Wright to Star in 'Death on the Nile' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 18 April 2019. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  22. ^ Clarke, Stewart (26 June 2019). "Letitia Wright, John Boyega to Star in Steve McQueen's Series 'Small Axe' (exclusive)". Variety. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  23. ^ Aquillina, Tyler (19 September 2020). "See John Boyega and Letitia Wright in new trailer for Steve McQueen's Small Axe anthology". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 16 November 2020.
  24. ^ Brody, Richard (15 March 2021). "The 2021 Oscar Nominations, and What Should Have Made the List". The New Yorker.
  25. ^ Novak, Kim (26 February 2020). "Black Panther's Letitia Wright to star in thriller about real-life Silent Twins June and Jennifer Gibbons". Metro. Retrieved 11 November 2020.
  26. ^ a b c d Robinson, Joanna (7 February 2019). "Black Panther Breakout Letitia Wright Smashes Disney Princess Expectations". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  27. ^ "'Black Panther' Breakout Star Letitia Wright Shares How Christianity Changed Her Life". RELEVANT Magazine. 21 February 2018. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  28. ^ a b Ramachandran, Naman (4 December 2020). "'Black Panther' Star Letitia Wright Responds After Posting Anti-Vax Video". Variety. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
  29. ^ "Actress Letitia Wright criticised for sharing vaccine doubter's video". BBC News. 4 December 2020. Retrieved 4 December 2020.
  30. ^ a b Shafer, Ellise (5 December 2020). "Letitia Wright Deletes Social Media Accounts After Posting Anti-Vax Video". Variety. Retrieved 6 December 2020.
  31. ^ Fleming Jr., Mike (21 December 2020). "U2's Bono, Pharrell Williams, Halsey Join Illumination Entertainment/Universal Animated Film 'Sing 2'". Deadline Hollywood.
  32. ^ Kroll, Justin (29 October 2020). "Letitia Wright, Jamie Bell And Michael K. Williams To Star In Bron Studios And Anthony Mandler's 'Surrounded'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  33. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (8 April 2021). "Focus Features Acquires 'Silent Twins' With Letitia Wright & Tamara Lawrance". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  34. ^ McNarry, Dave (15 March 2018). "'Black Panther,' 'Walking Dead' Rule Saturn Awards Nominations". Variety. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  35. ^ a b Ramos, Dino-Ray (18 June 2018). "MTV Movie & TV Awards Winners: 'Black Panther', 'Stranger Things' Among Top Honorees – Full List". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  36. ^ a b "Teen Choice Awards: Winners List". The Hollywood Reporter. 12 August 2018. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  37. ^ McNary, Dave (13 February 2019). "'Black Panther' Leads NAACP Image Awards Nominations". Variety. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  38. ^ Tapley, Kristopher; Otterson, Joe (27 January 2019). "SAG Awards: The Biggest Snubs and Surprises". Variety. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  39. ^ Davis, Clayton (21 December 2020). "'Nomadland' Wins Five Chicago Film Critics Awards". Variety. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  40. ^ Van Blaricom, Mirjana (1 February 2021). "25th Satellite Awards Nominees for Motion Pictures and Television Announced". International Press Academy. Retrieved 1 February 2021.

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