thuso mbedu

Thuso Mbedu: Five things to know about Viola Davis’ new co-star

Andile Sicetsha - 29.04.2021

Thuso Mbedu is South Africa’s newest Hollywood export and her rise to fame is very interesting, to say the least.

The virtual world is celebrating Thuso Mbedu and her strides in the global film industry.

Thuso Mbedu t star alongside Viola Davis in Prince-Bythewood-directed flick

Before the news of her next venture was announced in a Deadline exclusive, Mbedu had a cult following from her feature on the highly anticipated series Underground Railroad.

Her core support following may have shouted her name out on every occasion but for the most part, Mbedu was quietly ascending in her role as a cut-throat actress with natural on-screen talents.

Her ‘eureka’ moment came on Wednesday when it was announced that she would be starring alongside Academy Award winner Viola Davis in an upcoming film The Woman King.

Why Davis handpicked Mbedu for The Woman King

The TriStar Pictures flick was directed by critically acclaimed Gina Prince-Bythewood whose recent work The Old Guard starring SA-born Charlize Theron was a blockbuster sensation.

Mbedu’s involvement in the upcoming film which, as things stand, has no official release date, was the choice of Davis whose JuVee Productions company is — in some capacity — tied to The Woman King.

“The depth and complexity of emotional life, her authentic beauty, and regalness is potent. We were mesmerized by Thuso Mbedu. We wanted Woman King / Nawi to be the vehicle to introduce her on the big screen,” Davis said.

Mbedu follows in the footsteps of Nomzamo Mbatha and Terry Pheto, two black actresses who have flown the South African flag high in Hollywood.

Five things to know about Thuso Mbedu

If Mbedu’s name is a bit unfamiliar, we’ve done you a solid and collected five important things about the actress you may not have known.

  1. She is a KwaZulu-Natal native

Mbedu was born in KwaZulu-Natal on 8 July 1991.

  1. She wanted to become a dermatologist

Due to her seasonal skin allergies, her ambition was to become the first dermatologist in her family.

  1. Drama was a breakaway hobby from her math and science courses

To break away from the demand of math and science courses in high school, Mbedu took drama classes. The thrill those classes brought drew her closer to acting. Hence, she studied dramatic arts at the University of Witwatersrand.

  1. Mbedu is a Nana’s baby

Mbedu has an older sister and they lost their biological mother to a tragic brain tumour. She was four years old at the time (1995). Consequently, her grandmother played a crucial role in her upbringing.

  1. She is an Emmy Award nominee

Since she graduated in 2013, Mbedu has appeared on a number of South African soapies and series, the most recognisable being IsThunzi. For her contributions, the 29-year-old received two Emmy Award nominations.