Melanie Thandiwe “Thandie” Newton, born November 6, 1972, is an English actress. She has appeared in several British and American films and is known for roles such as the title character in Beloved, Linda in The Pursuit of Happyness, Nyah Nordoff-Hall in Mission: Impossible 2, Christine in Crash and Kate Thomas in Norbit. Take a look below for 28 more interesting and awesome facts about Thandie Newton.
1. For her role as Christine in Crash, Newton received a number of awards, including a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.
2. As of 2016, she played the sentient android, the madam Maeve Millay, in the HBO science fiction Western television series Westworld.
3. For her role as Maeve Millay in Westworld, Newton earned a Critics’ Choice Award, and Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and Emmy Award nominations.
4. She has portrayed DCI Roz Huntley in Series 4 of the BBC One police procedural series Line of Duty.
5. Newton was born in Westminster, London, England, the daughter of Nyasha, a Zimbabwean princess of the Shona people, and Nick Newton, an English laboratory technician and artist.
6. Her birthplace has been incorrectly reported to be Zambia in some biographies, but she has confirmed in interviews that she was born in London.
7. The name “Thandiwe” means “beloved” in Ndebele, Zulu, Xhosa or Swati.
8. Regarding her childhood, Newton remarked at a TED conference, “From about the age of 5, 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.”
9. Newton was brought up in London and Penzance, Cornwall and studied dance at the Tring Park School for the Performing Arts.
10. Between 1992 and 1995, Newton attended Downing College, Cambridge, where she studied social anthropology. She graduated with a 2:1.
11. In 2000, she was voted by the readers of Black Men Magazine as one of The 10 Sexiest Women of the Year.
12. A delayed shoot for Mission: Impossible II caused Newton to turn down one of the lead roles in Charlie’s Angels. Lucy Liu was cast instead.
13. One of her fondest memories is watching her mother get dressed in her traditional African garb because it taught her black pride.
14. In 2002, she ranked number 48 in Stuff Magazine’s 102 Sexiest Women in the World.
15. She named her daughter Ripley after the character played by Sigourney Weaver in Alien.
16. Her younger daughter was named for German-born singer Nico, the member of the legendary rock group The Velvet Underground.
17. She delivered both of her daughters naturally through a birthing pool.
18. In July 2011, in a speech at the TEDGlobal 2011 Conference, Newton disclosed that earlier in her career, she struggled with bulimia.
19. She was 2 months pregnant with her daughter Nico when she competed filming Crash.
20. She returned to work 8 months after giving birth to her daughter Nico to begin filming The Pursuit of Happyness.
21. Newton was 6 months pregnant with her son Booker when she completed filming the second season of Rogue.
22. David Schwimmer called Newton the Queen of practical jokes.
23. She is vegan and was named PETA’s Sexiest Vegan of 2014 in the United Kingdom.
24. She married English writer, director and producer Ol Parker in 1998.
25. 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 vividly about her childhood memories of growing up in Cornwall, and the way in which the country’s cultural heritage made it easy for her to, “enrich every situation with layers of magic and meaning.”
26. In 2007, she sold her near-new BMW X5 and replaced it with a Toyota Prius after Greenpeace stuck a, “This gas-guzzling 4×4 is causing climate change,” sticker on her BMW.
27. In 2008, Newton visited poverty-stricken Mali, describing it as a “humbling experience.”
28. In 2013, Newton led the One Billion Rising flash mob in London, for an end to violence, and for justice and gender equality.