“Westworld” star Thandie Newton’s name is actually “Thandiwe,” but thanks to a misspelling in the credits of her first film, 1996’s “Flirting,” she’s gone by Thandie in dozens of projects.
But that was then and this is now.
The actress recently told British Vogue, in a feature piece dubbed “The Rebirth of an Icon,” that it’s time to take her name back.
Newton, who famously called out Hollywood sexual abuse last year — promising to name names on her “deathbed” — is embracing her roots.
The 48-year-old performer, the daughter of a Zimbabwean princess-turned-NIH health care worker and a former scientist from Cornwall, England, was given the name Thandiwe, which means “beloved” in her mother’s native tongue, Shona.
Newton, a staunch advocate of the Me Too movement, catalogued the years of racism and sexual abuse she said she suffered in Hollywood, beginning with her first role that led to the credits typo.
She claimed that while auditioning for “Flirting,” the Australian director, whom she has previously accused of sexual abuse, once said of her light-skinned complexion, “Can you be a bit darker?”
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“‘Be darker by Monday,” he allegedly told her, leading her to spend her weekend “covered in coconut oil and frantically bronzing.”
“Colourism has just been the funniest,” Netwon told British Vogue. “I’ve been too Black, not Black enough. I’m always Black. I’m just like, whadda you people want!”
Now, Newton is no longer afraid to embrace herself, her heritage — and her name.
“I’m taking back what’s mine,” she said.
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