Thandiwe Newton looks elegant in a chiffon lace gown at God’s Country premiere in France
Born in London, Newton grew up in Penzance, Cornwall, where her parents – her father is white British, her mother black, from Zimbabwe – sent her to a Catholic school.
She said of her school years, “I knew I didn’t fit. I was the black atheist kid in the all-white Catholic school of nuns.’
She went on to study at Cambridge University, where she studied anthropology.
Her film career started as a teenager with the 1991 film Flirting which marked her debut.
At 22, she appeared in the big movie Interview With A Vampire, opposite To Cruise and Brad Pitt. She later reunited with Cruise in the 2000 film Mission Impossible 2.
Newton’s early acting years were marked by sexual abuse. When she was 16, she was cared for by director John Duigan, who was 39 years old at the time.
Duigan’s violations lasted for five years, two of those years were called a “relationship” after he asked Newton’s parents’ blessing at age 18 for her to become his girlfriend.
Two years after meeting Duigan, at age 18, another director told the actress to intimately touch herself during an audition. Newton did, because a female casting director was also present.
But years later, she discovered that the unnamed man had kept her tape and played it at poker games for other Hollywood elite.
After the infringing discovery, Thandiwe began to fight the abuse and denounce it – an act that cost the actress many jobs.
In addition to her film career, she has had long-running roles in ER and her lead role in Westworld, among others.
She met her husband Ol in 1997 and said it was love at first sight.
At the time, Ol was a screenwriter and had written In Your Dreams, which featured the actress.
“He was on set every day and I fell madly in love with him,” she told InStyle Magazine.
“When I met Ol, I was in a relationship with a really sweet, sweet man and I had to leave him right away, even though I wasn’t even dating Ol.”
“But once I met Ol, it kind of cut off other blood vessels to somewhere else.”
She married Ol in 1998. The couple share three children: Ripley, 21, Nico, 17 and Booker, eight.
The actress was previously credited as Thandie Newton before reverting to the original spelling of her name three decades after it was misspelled in her first film.
She revealed that Thandie was a careless misspelling in the end credits of her first film — the 1991 Australian film Flirting, starring Nicole Kidman and Noah Taylor — and it’s stuck ever since.
‘That is my name. It’s always been my name. I’m taking back what’s mine,” she told British Vogue in April 2021.