Tessa Thompson

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Tessa Thompson
Tessa Thompson by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg
Thompson at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con
Born Tessa Lynne Thompson
(1983-10-03) October 3, 1983 (age 34)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 2002–present

Tessa Lynne Thompson (born October 3, 1983)[1] is an American actress. In film, she starred as Nyla Adrose in the drama For Colored Girls (2010), civil rights activist Diane Nash in the historical drama Selma (2014), Bianca in the sports drama Creed (2015), and as Valkyrie in the superhero film Thor: Ragnarok (2017). On television, Thompson starred as Jackie Cook in the mystery drama Veronica Mars (2005–2006), Sara Freeman in the period crime drama Copper (2012–2013), and Charlotte Hale in the HBO science-fiction thriller series Westworld (2016–present).

Early life[edit]

Thompson was born in Los Angeles, California, and raised there and in Brooklyn, New York City.[2] Her father, singer/songwriter Marc Anthony Thompson of the musical collective Chocolate Genius, Inc.,[2] is of Afro-Panamanian descent and her mother is of Euro-Mexican descent.[3] She attended Santa Monica High School and then Santa Monica College, where she studied cultural anthropology.[4]

Career[edit]

Thompson in 2014

Theatre[edit]

In 2002, Thompson made her professional stage debut in Los Angeles Women's Shakespeare Company's production of The Tempest. In 2003, Thompson appeared as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet: Antebellum New Orleans, 1836 with The Theatre @ Boston Court in Pasadena, California, which earned her an NAACP Theatre Award nomination.[4]

In 2016 she appeared in the off-Broadway run of the Lydia R. Diamond play Smart People at Second Stage Theatre, alongside Mahershala Ali, Joshua Jackson and Anne Son.[5]

Television[edit]

Thompson made her first TV appearance in a 2005 episode of the CBS series Cold Case in the role of a bootlegging lesbian from the 1930s. In the same year, she rose to fame as she landed the role of Jackie Cook on the UPN/CW neo-noir drama series Veronica Mars, starring as a series regular for the show's second season.[4][3] In 2006, she appeared on the ABC medical drama Grey's Anatomy. In 2007, she was a part of the cast on the CW's short-lived drama Hidden Palms, portraying Nikki Barnes. She worked on guest star roles on Life and Private Practice, and appeared in the fourth season of Heroes.

In 2010, she had a guest role as the wife of a detective on Detroit 187. In 2012, she had a guest role as Gavin Doran's daughter, Sasha, on 666 Park Avenue. In 2013, she starred in BBC America's first original series Copper.[4] In 2016, she began a starring role in the HBO sci-fi drama series Westworld.

Film[edit]

With Sylvester Stallone and Michael B. Jordan promoting Creed in November 2015

Thompson's first feature film appearance was in the 2006 remake of the horror film When a Stranger Calls playing the role of Scarlet. Thompson was next seen opposite Mary Elizabeth Winstead in the dancing film Make it Happen in 2008.

In 2010, Thompson appeared in Tyler Perry's stage play adaptation For Colored Girls after she directly approached Perry to be cast in the film.[4] In 2014, she starred in Justin Simien's Sundance winner Dear White People. That same year, Thompson played civil rights activist Diane Nash in Ava DuVernay's Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic Selma.[6] In 2015, she appeared in Ryan Coogler's Rocky spin-off-sequel film Creed,[3] and in Nate Ruess short film The Grand Romantic.[7] In April 2016, Thompson was cast as Valkyrie[8] in Thor: Ragnarok, which was released on November 3, 2017.[9]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2006 When a Stranger Calls Scarlet[10]
2008 Make It Happen Dana[11]
2008 Human Contract, TheThe Human Contract Waitress
2009 Mississippi Damned Kari Peterson (at age 20)[11]
2010 Everyday Black Man Claire[12]
2010 Exquisite Corpse Liz
2010 For Colored Girls Nyla Adrose
2011 Periphery Caitlin [citation needed]
2011 Red & Blue Marbles Becca [citation needed]
2012 Murder on the 13th Floor Nia Palmer [citation needed]
2013 South Dakota Chris [citation needed]
2013 Automotive Maggie [citation needed]
2014 Dear White People Samantha White[13]
2014 Grantham & Rose Wallis[14]
2014 Selma Diane Nash[12]
2015 Creed Bianca[15]
2016 War on Everyone Jackie Hollis[11]
2017 Thor: Ragnarok Valkyrie[15]
2018 Sorry to Bother You[16] Detroit
2018 Annihilation Josie Radek[15]
2018 Avengers: Infinity War Valkyrie Post-production

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2005 Cold Case Wilhemina "Billie" Doucette[17] Episode: "Best Friends"
2005–2006 Veronica Mars Jackie Cook[15] Regular role (12 episodes)
2006 Grey's Anatomy Camille Travis Episodes: "Deterioration of the Fight or Flight Response", "Losing My Religion",
2006 Initiation of Sarah, TheThe Initiation of Sarah Esme Television film
2007 Hidden Palms Nikki Barnes Main role (7 episodes)
2008 Life Liza Episode: "Trapdoor"
2009 Mental Lainey Jefferson Episode: "Lines in the Sand"
2009 Private Practice Zoe Episodes: "Yours, Mine & Ours", "Strange Bedfellows"
2009 Heroes Rebecca Taylor Episodes: "Hysterical Blindness", "Strange Attractors", "Shadowboxing"
2009 Three Rivers Penelope Kirkell Episode: "A Roll of the Dice"
2010 Betwixt Jenny Television film
2010 Blue Belle Blue Lead role (5 episodes)
2010–2011 Detroit 1-8-7 Lauren Washington Episodes: "Local Hero/Overboard", "Home Invasion/Drive-By", "Blackout"
2011 Off the Map Sydney Episode: "A Doctor Time Out"
2011 Rizzoli & Isles FBI Agent Anna Farrell Episode: "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother"
2012–2013 666 Park Avenue Sasha Doran Recurring role (5 episodes)
2012–2013 Copper Sara Freeman Main role (19 episodes)
2016 BoJack Horseman Tanisha (voice) Episode: "Love And/Or Marriage"
2016–present Westworld Charlotte Hale[15] 5 episodes

Music videos[edit]

Year Song Artist Role
2015 "Yoga" Janelle Monae Dancer
2017 "Moonlight" Jay-Z Monica Geller

Accolades[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result Ref(s)
2009 American Black Film Festival Best Actor Mississippi Damned Won [18]
2011 Black Reel Awards Best Breakthrough Performance For Colored Girls Won [19]
2014 Gotham Awards Breakthrough Actor Dear White People Won [20]
2014 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture Nominated [21]
2014 Black Reel Awards Best Actress Nominated [22]
2015 African-American Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actress Creed Won [23]
2016 Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Actress: Drama Nominated [24]
NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Tessa Thompson". TVGuide.com. Archived from the original on September 8, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b Thompson in Morgan, Kai (May 5, 2014). "Exclusive: Tessa Thompson on varied dreams and effecting change". EmbraceYouMagazine.com. Archived from the original on March 31, 2016. Retrieved July 21, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c Zakarin, Jordan (December 29, 2014). "Tessa Thompson on Selma, Dear White People, and Her Breakthrough Year". Yahoo! Movies. Archived from the original on September 21, 2016. Retrieved April 10, 2017. ...a Panamanian father and half-Mexican, half-white mother. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Behrens, Deborah (July 11, 2012). "Tessa Thompson Returns to Shakespeare as Rosalind". @ This Stage (LA Stage Alliance). Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved July 21, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Past Shows – Season 37". 2econdStageTheatre.com. Archived from the original on October 13, 2016. Retrieved December 5, 2016. 
  6. ^ Grigg-Spall, Holly (n.d.). "Tessa Thompson". IssueMagazine.com. Archived from the original on March 29, 2015. Retrieved July 21, 2015. 
  7. ^ Ruess, Nate. "The Grand Romantic Chapter 1 debut". Apple Music Connect. 
  8. ^ Strom, Marc (May 20, 2016). "Marvel Studios Confirms Stellar New Cast Members of the Highly Anticipated 'Thor: Ragnarok'". Marvel.com. Archived from the original on April 10, 2017. Retrieved May 20, 2016. 
  9. ^ Busch, Anita (April 11, 2016). "Tessa Thompson Joins The Marvel Universe In 'Thor: Ragnarok'". Deadline.com. Archived from the original on February 23, 2017. Retrieved April 10, 2017. 
  10. ^ Jones, Alan. "When a Stranger Calls". Radio Times. Retrieved December 2, 2017. 
  11. ^ a b c "Tessa Thompson". British Film Institute. Retrieved December 2, 2017. 
  12. ^ a b "Tessa Thompson". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 2, 2017. 
  13. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (July 21, 2016). "Netflix Sets Cast for 'Dear White People' TV Series". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  14. ^ Obenson, Tambay A. (February 2, 2015). "MarVista to Release Coming of Age Road Tripper 'Grantham & Rose' (Marla Gibbs, Tessa Thompson, Jake T. Austin)". IndieWire. 
  15. ^ a b c d e Robinson, Joanna (November 1, 2017). "Tessa Thompson on a Decade Defying On-Screen Stereotypes". Vanity Fair. 
  16. ^ Busch, Anita (June 15, 2017). "Tessa Thompson, Lakeith Stanfield, Steven Yeun To Star In 'Sorry To Bother You'". Deadline.com. 
  17. ^ "Cold Case". Radio Times. Retrieved December 2, 2017. 
  18. ^ "2009 Winners". American Black Film Festival. Archived from the original on February 7, 2017. Retrieved June 18, 2016. 
  19. ^ "Winners > 2011". Black Reel Awards. Archived from the original on January 14, 2016. Retrieved June 18, 2016. 
  20. ^ "2014 Gotham Awards: Complete Winners List". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on December 27, 2016. Retrieved June 18, 2016. 
  21. ^ "NAACP Image Awards 2015: Full list of nominees and winners". Los Angeles Times. February 6, 2015. Archived from the original on December 23, 2016. 
  22. ^ "And The Nominees Are..." [15th Annual] Black Reel Awards. December 17, 2014. Archived from the original on March 27, 2016. Retrieved June 18, 2016. 
  23. ^ "Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry and Ava Duvernay Lead an All-Star Line Up at the African American Film Critics Association Award Show". 2015 Winners. African-American Film Critics Association. February 5, 2015. Archived from the original on June 29, 2016. Retrieved June 18, 2016. 
  24. ^ Goodman, Jessica (July 31, 2016). "Teen Choice Awards 2016: See the full list of winners". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved August 31, 2017. 

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