In Zambia in 1972, Thandie Newton was welcomed into the world by parents Nyasha and Nick. Nyasha was a Zimbabwean health care worker and Nick an English lab technician. Thandie’s time in Zambia was short-lived, as the family was forced to flee the region due to political unrest. Arriving in Nick’s native England, Thandie grew up studying ballet. At the age of 16, a back injury caused Thandie to take up another interest – acting. And just three years later, she made her movie debut opposite Nicole Kidman.
Thandie, whose name means “beloved,” was pegged for success early. Her work was steady, and in the 1990s she participated in numerous high profile projects, such as the Tom Cruise / Brad Pitt film “Interview with the Vampire” in 1994. The following year, Thandie earned her biggest role to date as Sally Hemmings, the love interest of Nick Nolte’s Thomas Jefferson in “Jefferson in Paris.” In the late 90s, more mainstream pictures as well as respected indie projects came Thandie’s way, including the lead role in “Besieged” by Bernardo Bertolucci, as well as Jonathan Demme’s “Beloved,” both in 1998. It was Tom Cruise who brought Thandie into the blockbuster spotlight as Ethan Hunt’s object of affection in “Mission: Impossible II” in 2000. Other big budget films followed, such as “The Truth About Charlie” and “The Chronicles of Riddick.” But it was the ensemble Best Picture drama “Crash” in which Thandie was finally recognized for her remarkable skills. As Terrence Howard’s wife, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awarded Thandie the Best Actress honor for her work.
Leading up to the success of “Crash,” Thandie continued to show her range: a recurring character on the venerable “E.R.,” a dramatic turn in “The Pursuit of Happyness,” and a comic role in “Norbit.” Married to Brit director Ol Parker since 1998, the couple has two children. While seemingly secure in her career and personal life, Thandie has proven she is willing to continue risk taking with her art, as a handful of the movie roles she has chosen show.
Thandie on the Web
Ultimate web resource guide for Thandie.
TV Guide: Thandie Newton
Photos, bio and news of Thandie.
Decent biography charting important milestones in Thandie’s life.
Thandie Newton Online
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Thandie Newton Picture Gallery
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Thandie Newton Clips
I-film clips from Thandie’s recent films and a video interview about “Crash.”
Thandie, joined by Matt Dillon, discusses the issues of “Crash.”
Thandie on the Screen
Thandie started on screen in 1991 in “Flirting,” starring Nicole Kidman. She’s Rachael Stevens in the Harvey Keitel actioneer “The Young Americans” in 1993, Hilary Rule in the Jon Bon Jovi vehicle “The Leading Man,” Cookie in the Tim Roth / Tupac movie “Gridlock’d,” opposite Mark Wahlberg in “The Truth About Charlie,” Tiffany in the Stallone direct-to-DVD “Shade,” Dame Vaaco in “The Chronicles of Riddick,” and her most critically praised role, Christine Thayer in “Crash.” She’s on 13 episodes of “E.R.” from 2003 – 2005 as Makemba Likasu.
Following a brief cameo as herself in "How to Lose Friends & Alienate People," Thandie will appear in two more films by the end of the year: Guy Ritchie's "RocknRolla" and Oliver Stone's "W," as Condoleeza Rice. She's also currently filming Roland Emmerich's new effects-driven disaster flick, "2012."
On working with Tom Cruise:
“When the camera stopped rolling, it was hard to stop laughing.”
On her characters:
“The woman who is in the worst place in her life. That's me!”