Gugu Mbatha-Raw is having a moment. British Vogue described her as our breakout star, and she features on the cover of this month’s issue of the iconic fashion mag in a sassy and futuristic shoot. As if that wasn’t enough, she’s also starring in Ava DuVernay’s latest $103m blockbuster A Wrinkle in Time.
Admirable for her incredible talents as an actress, intelligence and of course her beauty, we’ve gathered info from her interviews with Vogue and Stylist to tell you everything you need to know about the talented star.
Despite her flawless American accent in A Wrinkle in Time, Gugu is in fact British. Born in Oxford, she gained a scholarship for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London in 2001.
She has an MBE
In the 2017 Birthday Honours, Gugu Mbatha-Raw was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire for her services to drama.
She starred in Doctor Who
In 2007, she starred as Tish Jones in the Doctor Who television blockbuster series alongside David Tennant. Since then, she’s been in the likes of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, Bad Girls, Holby City and Black Mirror.
Her name is Zulu
It means “Our Pride” in Zulu. Gugu was born Gugulethu Sophia Mbatha in Oxford, England. Her father, Patrick Mbatha, is a South African doctor, and her mother Anne Raw, is an English nurse.
She was nearly named Sophie
For the first few days of her life she was called ‘Sophie’, but her dad changed his mind, according to an article in The Guardian. She said: “Now I have a name that everyone asks me how to pronounce five times and can never spell. But do you know what? You apologise for it or you own it. So, I choose to own it.”
She keeps a gratitude journal
Like we all should, Gugu was introduced to the concept of a gratitude journal by Oprah. “It’s a good way to keep perspective,” she tells Stylist Magazine.
Art is her other passion
Other than acting, Gugu enjoys how art represents culture. She takes life-drawing classes and is most interested in the Pre-Raphaelites era.
She has practiced yoga for 12 years
As a way to get back to the neutral, Gugu practices yoga and meditation alongside her hectic lifestyle. It’s a way of creating union with herself.
She stands for intersectionality
Everything she works towards is a way of showing her determination for intersectionality. Not sure what it is? Read this. She believes that in the industry, it’s important to ask questions; what have we missed in this picture on every level?
Catch Gugu in Wrinkle in Time, out in cinemas in the UK on 23 March 2013. Read our review.