Melanie Thandiwe Newton
6 November 1972
|Other names||Thandie Newton|
|Alma mater||Downing College, Cambridge|
|Children||3; including Nico Parker|
Melanie Thandiwe Newton Parker // tan-DEE-way; born 6 November 1972), formerly credited as Thandie Newton, is an English actress. She has received various awards including a Primetime Emmy Award and a British Academy Film Award, in addition to nominations for two Golden Globe Awards.(
Newton is known for starring roles such as the title character in Beloved (1998), Nyah Nordoff-Hall in Mission: Impossible 2 (2000), Christine in Crash (2004), for which she received a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Linda in The Pursuit of Happyness (2006), Stella in RockNRolla (2008), Condoleezza Rice in W. (2008), Laura Wilson in 2012 (2009), and Val in Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018).
Since 2016, Newton has played the sentient android, the madam Maeve Millay, in the HBO science fiction-western series Westworld, for which she received a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series and two Critics Choice Awards, as well as nominations for a Golden Globe Award, Saturn Award, and Screen Actors Guild Award. In 2017, she portrayed DCI Roz Huntley in the BBC drama series Line of Duty, which earned her a nomination for the British Academy Television Award for Best Actress.
Newton was born in Westminster, London, England, to Nyasha, a Zimbabwean member of a Shona chiefly family, and Nick Newton, an English laboratory technician and artist. She has one younger brother. Her birthplace has been incorrectly reported to be Zambia in some biographies, but she has confirmed in interviews that she was born in London. Thandiwe is a name of Nguni origin meaning "beloved". Her family moved to Penzance, Cornwall, when she was 3, so her father could help run the family antiques business. She attended St Mary's Roman Catholic Primary School, and later attended The School of Clare, a private school in the town.
Newton remarked at a TED conference, "From about the age of five, I was aware that I didn't fit. I was the black, atheist kid in the all-white, Catholic school run by nuns. I was an anomaly." Newton was brought up in London and Penzance, and studied dance at the Tring Park School for the Performing Arts. Between 1992 and 1995, Newton studied at Downing College, Cambridge, where she obtained a degree in social anthropology.
After the film Flirting (1991), Newton played the slave "Yvette" in the Brad Pitt/Tom Cruise film Interview with the Vampire (1994). Newton appeared in the Merchant Ivory production of Jefferson in Paris as Sally Hemings, followed by Jonathan Demme's drama Beloved, based on Toni Morrison's novel (1998), in which she played the title character, the ghost of a young slave girl whose mother murders her to save her from slavery. The film also starred Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover. Newton then starred as Nyah Nordoff-Hall, again opposite Cruise, in Mission: Impossible 2. Her next role was in the low-budget film It Was an Accident, written by her husband, screenwriter Ol Parker.
Between 2003 and 2005, Newton played Makemba "Kem" Likasu, love interest of John Carter on the American television series ER. She reprised the role for the series finale in 2009. In 2004, she also appeared in The Chronicles of Riddick and Crash. Newton won a BAFTA award for Best Supporting Actress in 2006 for her role in Crash. She played Chris Gardner's wife, Linda Gardner, in The Pursuit of Happyness. Also in 2006, Newton performed on radio in a pantomime version of Cinderella.
In 2007, Newton co-starred with Eddie Murphy in the comedy Norbit as his love interest, and then opposite Simon Pegg as his ex-girlfriend in the 2008 comedy Run Fatboy Run. Newton next portrayed US National Security Advisor-turned Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in W., Oliver Stone's biography of President George W. Bush. The film was released 17 October 2008.
Newton was an introducer at Wembley Stadium on 7 July 2007, for the UK leg of Live Earth. She was due to introduce Al Gore to the concert, but he was delayed, leaving Newton to tell jokes in an attempt to entertain the audience. Newton next portrayed fictional US First Daughter Laura Wilson in 2012, a disaster film directed by Roland Emmerich and released 13 November 2009.
In July 2011, Newton delivered a TED talk on "Embracing otherness, embracing myself." She discussed finding her "otherness" as a child growing up in two distinct cultures, and as an actress playing many different selves. In 2012, she starred alongside Tyler Perry in the romantic drama film Good Deeds. She was also in another Tyler Perry movie called "For Colored Girls". In 2013, Newton starred in Rogue, the first original drama series for DirecTV's Audience Network. She left Rogue during the third season. In 2015, she starred in the US miniseries The Slap.
In 2016, Newton began portraying Maeve Millay in HBO science fiction drama series Westworld, for which she won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, among other accolades. In 2017, she served as a narrator for the documentary entitled Bill Cosby: Fall of an American Icon, an exposé on the sexual assault charges laid against Cosby, which aired on BBC One. In the same year, Newton played DCI Roseanne "Roz" Huntley in the fourth season of BBC One's Line of Duty, a role for which she received a BAFTA TV Award nomination for Best Actress.
Newton married English writer, director, and producer Ol Parker in 1998. They have three children: daughters Ripley (b. 2000) and Nico (b. 2004), and son Booker Jombe (b. 2014). All three children were home births. She is vegan and was named PETA's "Sexiest Vegan of 2014" in the UK.
In 2006, Newton contributed a foreword to We Wish: Hopes and Dreams of Cornwall's Children, a book of children's writing published in aid of the NSPCC. In it, she wrote about her childhood memories of growing up in Cornwall, and the way in which the county's cultural heritage made it easy for her to "enrich every situation with layers of magic and meaning".
In 2007, Newton sold her near-new BMW X5 and replaced it with a Toyota Prius after Greenpeace stuck a "This gas-guzzling 4x4 is causing climate change" sticker on her BMW. In 2008, Newton visited poverty-stricken Mali, describing it as a "humbling experience". She visited the village of Nampasso in the Ségou Region of the country. In 2013, Newton led the One Billion Rising flash mob in London, for an end to violence, and for justice and gender equality.
In 2016, Newton stated she had been the victim of a director who repeatedly showed his friends a video of her in a sexually graphic audition which she made as a teenager. Newton cited this experience as being a part of why she had taken the Westworld role, which involved substantial nudity, as it mirrored the experiences of survivors of sexual abuse while also asking moral questions about the meaning of humanity and what it means to be humane. In 2018, Newton said she was disappointed not to have been invited to participate in Time's Up, a movement against sexual harassment, considering that she had experienced being "ostracised" for speaking out about alleged sexual abuse by a director.
She was ranked one of the best dressed women in 2018 by fashion website Net-a-Porter. Later that year, it was announced that Newton was included in the 2019 edition of the Powerlist, ranking the 100 most influential Black Britons.
|2017||Jay-Z featuring Beyoncé||"Family Feud"|
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Thandiwe means 'beloved' in the Zulu, Ndebele and Xhosa languages. [...] This article was amended on 5 April 2021 to remove an incorrect phrase saying 'Thandiwe means "beloved" in the Shona language'.
- A Taste of My Life, Series 4 (BBC Two, 4 June 2008) Thandie Newton – Quote: "Nigel Slater (host): You were born in London but you didn't stay here for long did you? You went down to Cornwall? Thandie Newton (answers): Actually I don't know how my mum and dad managed to do this. But we lived in Zambia, and my mum was pregnant with me. And I was born on a two-week trip back to London, and then we went back to Zambia and my brother was born there. And we ended up coming to England finally when I was three years old. So my dad could help out with the family antique business."
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- "News and Events: Downing alumna Thandie Newton wins BAFTA award" Archived 22 January 2010 at the Wayback Machine Dow.Cam.ac.uk.
- Thandie's Mission, Evening Standard, she also starred in the Guy Ritchie film Rock n' Rolla as a michivious accountant. 22 July 2005. Quote: "...but turned down the Lucy Liu role in Charlie's Angels in favour of making It Was An Accident, a minor film by her scriptwriter husband Ol Parker."
- "Doctor Who poised for radio panto" Archived 7 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine News.BBC.co.uk, 15 December 2006.
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- Kroll, Justin (17 September 2020). "Amazon Studios Lands Rights To Thriller 'All The Old Knives' Starring Chris Pine And Thandie Newton; 'ZeroZeroZero's Janus Metz Signs On To Direct". Deadline. Retrieved 5 April 2021.
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