For more than three decades, we know her as Thandie Newton. And guess what? That’s not her real name — it’s actually Thandiwe Newton. Her full name is Melanie Thandiwe Newton.
The Emmy-winning star of Westworld, 48, set the record straight in the May issue of British Vogue.
Newton said her name was misspelled as “Thandie” in her first role in 1991’s Flirting, and she was called that in every role since. Thandiwe is pronounced “tan-Dee-way” and it means “beloved” in Shona, one of the most widely spoken languages of Zimbabwe.
“The thing I’m most grateful for in our business right now is being in the company of others who truly see me,” Newton said in the interview “And to not be complicit in the objectification of Black people as ‘others’, which is what happens when you’re the only one.”
She added, “That’s my name. It’s always been my name. I’m taking back what’s mine.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Newton recalled opening up to W Magazine in 2016 — a year before the#MeToo movement — about being sexually abused by a film director when she was 16.
The revelation didn’t go down well with Newton’s publicist, who asked her stop talking about the incident because it was “not good for your reputation”. The actress eventually fired her rep.
Click here to read Newton’s interview in British Vogue.
Photo: TPG News/Click Photos