Thandie Newton’s career placed her in the company of some of Hollywood’s best actors and biggest projects. Whether she’s on TV or in movies, playing real-life people or fantasy characters who aren’t even human, she always steals the screen. Check out these highlights from the British actress’s storied career.
10. The Pursuit of Happyness
This 2006 biopic is deeply sad – entrepreneur Chris Gardner (Will Smith) will do anything to create a better life for his wife (Newton) and son (played by Smith’s real-life son Jaden). As a matter of fact, this film basically foreshadows the actual career of Jaden, whose father is one of the best dads in all of hip-hop or Hollywood.
9. Run Fatboy Run
An underrated comedy classic, this 2007 British-American film was written by Michael Ian Black and Simon Pegg (who also stars in it). Thandie is his ex fiance, whom he left pregnant on the altar, and Hank Azaria plays her new romantic interest. The lines of good and bad are quickly blurred in this inspiring movie.
8. Interview with the Vampire
She only has a small part in this 1994 gothic romantic horror drama that far predates Twilight. But Newton did get to share a film with Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise, something few of us can say. You’re probably going back to watch it again right now, because you didn’t even realize it was her at the time.
Character: Condoleezza Rice
George W. Bush and Condoleezza Rice are polarizing figures in American history, and both Josh Brolin and Newton (along with the rest of the cast) shine in this 2008 historical biopic. The Texas farmboy nobody thought would ever make a good leader suddenly found himself in charge of the U.S. during post-9/11, an event that would cement the legacy of the Bush name in this world.
6. Solo: A Star Wars Story
This Disney space-opera produced by Lucasfilm brings an all-star cast of 2018’s hottest stars together. This includes Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Paul Bettany, and Newton. It’s a Star Wars prequel telling one of many tales of Han Solo, and Harrelson/Newton are the criminal couple he idolizes in his early days.
Character: Makemba “Kem” Likasu
The romance between Kem and Noah Wiley’s Dr. John Truman Carter III is either a great romance or a Yoko Ono-style breakup of a great cast. Wiley wanted to leave the show after over a decade of working on it, and moving to Africa to live with the love of his life was the way to do it. Congrats, you two – go live happily ever after until we need you for more contractual obligations.
Character: Bonnie Soyinka
This 2018 crime comedy helped make Amazon’s Prime Video service (and Amazon Studios) a legitimate force in entertainment. Newton joins Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried, David Oyelowo, and Paris Jackson as Bonnie, Harry’s wife, who had been cheating on him with his boss, creating a very bad situation in his new life in Mexico.
Character: Christine Thayer
This 2004 Paul Haggis classic has an ensemble cast including Newton, Sandra Bullock, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Don Cheadle, and Michael Pena. Random characters of different ethnicities and social classes lead intertwining lives in modern-day Los Angeles. This is a powerful drama, and Newton and Dillon’s scenes together are both the pinnacle and climax of the project.
2. Mission: Impossible 2
Character: Nyah Nordoff-Hall
Released in 2000, M:i-2 is perhaps the breakout role that really skyrocketed Newton’s career (thanks again, Tom Cruise). Ethan Hunt is recruited by the Impossible Mission Force (IMF) to destroy the Chimera, a deadly biological weapon. Poor Newton’s character is one who ends up being infected with the virus, and the clock is racing for Hunt to save both her and the world.
Character: Maeve Millay
HBO’s “Westworld” is infinitely more interesting than “Game of Thrones,” focusing on a constant war between humans and sentient artificial intelligence (AI) androids. Newton joins James Marsden and Evan Rachel Wood as one of these AI hosts who becomes woke and starts kicking ass and taking names. Her character is central to exploring the immortality and increased abilities of robots over humans. As technology continues evolving, it’ll be interesting to see how this adaptation of Michael Crichton’s novels evolves with it.