Hollywood actress Thandiwe Newton on reclaiming her full name: “I’m taking back what’s mine”

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Thandiwe Netwon. Image: Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images
Thandiwe Netwon. Image: Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

Hollywood actress Thandiwe Newton says he is reverting to the original Zulu spelling of her name after more than two decades of being Thandie Newton in Hollywood.

READ MORE | “It felt like my own coming to America story” - Nomzamo Mbatha chats to us on her upcoming Hollywood debut

Speaking to British Vogue, the daughter of a Zimbabwean princess and a British lab technician said that the original spelling of her name, which means beloved, was dropped in the credits of her first acting role when she was only 16 years old. But now she is reclaiming it.

“That’s my name. It’s always been my name. I’m taking back what’s mine,” she told the publication.

“The thing I’m most grateful for in our business right now is being in the company of others who truly see me. And to not be complicit in the objectification of Black people as ‘others’, which is what happens when you’re the only one,” she added.

The Star Wars actress also opened up about the racial traumas she experienced while she was young and as an adult in Hollywood where she was allegedly told that she needed to be darker for a role  by Australian director John Duigan.

“Got the role. Colourism has just been the funniest. I’ve been too black, not black enough [but] I’m always black. I’m just like, whadda you people want,” she said.

READ MORE | Thembisa Mdoda-Nxumalo to temporarily replace Zandile Msutwana on The Queen

She also spoke about her battle with an eating disorder that she described as “the most horrific dance with something that's supposed to bring you life.”

Now at 48, Thandiwe is stronger and has become an advocate for women who have been sexually assaulted and is outspoken about racist and sexual abuse in Hollywood.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24