Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The British Invasion: Thandie Newton

I have a whole lotta love for Thandiwe Adjewa "Thandie" Newton. I’m serious. I adore her. My Thandie love falls in a very close category to that of my Vanessa Williams love. Now you all should know by now that when I refer to my Vanessa love that’s it’s a whole lotta love on a whole other level. I first caught sight of her in Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles back in 1994 and as is customary with me, I did not pay much attention first time around. Then the next thing I know the year 2000 rolls around and enter the second of the Mission Impossible Trilogy. And enter Nyah Nordoff-Hall. Ooh I immediately fell in love. I was sprung I tell you! Smitten. I fell and fell hard. Thandie was enigmatic in that movie. She was awesome. Of all her movies, MI-2 is one of my very favorite. She was riveting. When she was in danger, my heart raced. I wanted to rescue her. In fact I was giving instructions to her in front of my TV screen. I was letting her know when Ambrose was approaching, which turn to take, what not to do, where not to look, where to look. She got me all caught up in the movie, something I very seldom do. I wanted so much to rescue and protect her. I just wanted to kick Tommy boy in the groin whenever he got close to her. Then I wanted to stomp on his toes real hard while wearing stilettos gouge him in the eye and punch him in the nose for putting her in such danger in the very first place. I wanted to stomp all over his ass. And when Ambrose was in those scenes with her… oh the agony. But it made for very good suspense. That must have been the only reason why I allowed him to get away with it. The movie needed it, but I was not happy about the situation at all. Two years later there was Regina Lambert (The Truth About Charlie) and yes, I fell even deeper. I totally enjoyed her performance once again. The movie on a whole was so-so but there was no denying my girl’s presence on screen. I couldn’t look away. Fast forward to 2004 and enter The Chronicles of Riddick. Oh man. Just when I thought I could love her no more, she goes and floors me again. Shit I admit, that some of it could be attributed to having stars in my eyes when this phenom is on screen, but the majority of it truly is because she’s talented. It really is. She’s awesome at what she does and to top it off, she makes good movie choices. In that same year Paul penned and directed Crash. And OMG I was brimming over! Of all the characters in that movie, of all the scenarios, of all the situation and circumstances, the role of Christine Thayer could not have been anymore superbly played than by Newton. I swear she was born to play that role! You felt every emotion that was felt by the character. You felt her pain, her anguish, her frustration, hurt, disappointment, humiliation, violation. It was there; it was real; it was unavoidable. It was fantastic. The woman is a gem. Her role in this movie was truly reminiscent of performances by the veteran Meryl Streep herself! I suppose with all the love I have bubbling over for her that I should have gone to see her in The Pursuit of Happyness but as I mentioned out on AE, that movie is one that just based on the trailer alone, I would never go out to see. I don’t know it was just one of those things. And in as much as I love her, it was truly excruciating to sit through Norbit. That movie made me want to gouge my own eyes out and the only reason I didn’t was because she was in it. W. is set to be released on 29 October. In it she will play the role of Condoleezza Rice. Now believe me I want to jump for joy at the thought of this role. Thandie as Condoleezza Rice! My goodness!!! This has got to be good! It’s one of those roles that I pretty sure will call upon her to utilize her skills to the core. I have no doubt that she will do the part justice. The problem is this, do I want to, no, will I be able to sit through a chronicle on the life and presidency of George W. Bush? The mere thought of it is upsetting. This has put me between a rock and a hard-place. The conflict is agonizing. The jury is still out but I’m more leaning towards not being able to endure the agony. And not being an ardent movie fan isn’t helping at all. The lovely Thandie is currently working on 2012 which is set to be released on 10 July 2009. It’s a drama about the disasters associated with the Mayan calendar coming to an end in 2012. Natural disasters which include volcanic eruptions, typhoons and glaciers. Since beginning her career in 1991 she has won a BAFTA 2006 - Best Supporting Actress: Crash, one Screen Actors Guild - Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture shared with cast of Crash (2006), one Empire Award for Best Actress for Crash (2006) and one Black Reel - Best Ensemble for Crash. She also has an additional 15 nominations to her credit. She was born on 6 November 1972 to Nyasha, a Zimbabwean Shona Princess who is a health-care worker and Nick Newton, an English laboratory technician and artist. The name Thandiwe means "beloved". Tidbits: Newton is the daughter of Nyasha, a Zimbabwean Shona Princess who is a health-care worker, and Nick Newton, an English laboratory technician and artist. Because MI-2 ran over the scheduled time of shooting, she had to pull out of the film Charlie's Angels and her character ultimately went to Lucy Liu. In addition to her film and television credits she played the title role in a 2006 radio pantomime version of Cinderella. Newton married English writer/director/producer Ol Parker in 1998. The couple have two daughters: Ripley, born in 2000, and Nico, born in 2004. Her daughters were named after the character Ripley in the Alien films and Nico from the Steven Seagal film, Above The Law. Newton swapped her BMW X5 for a Toyota Prius after protesters bombarded the car with eggs at the gates of her daughters’ school. She then wrote to her celebrity friends, asking them to join her in switching to more environmentally sound cars Voted by the readers of Black Men Magazine as one of The 10 Sexiest Women of the Year. (2000) Ranked #48 in Stuff magazine's "102 Sexiest Women in the World" (2002) One of her fondest memories is watching her mother get dressed in her traditional African garb because it taught her black pride. Personal Quotes: I use the film industry as a pleasure for work and that kind of thing and it's not a pursuit to make me feel happy in my life. I don't put the pressure on myself to be a very successful movie star. I want to enjoy being an actor and I want to be challenged by the roles I take. What is lovely is that I'll get sent a small movie, and you know that by virtue of me being involved they get their money and that's fantastic. God, yeah, I'm good at playing the emotionally strangled person. The woman who is in the worst place in her life. That's me! Ten years ago, I probably would have bemoaned the fact that I started out [in the film business] so young - but now I'm grateful - truly grateful. (September 2008)

1 comment:

  1. She should have played Storm in the X-Men films. Hallie Berre is gorgeous, and a good actress, but that role was totally wrong for her, whereas I think Thandie would have made it work.