Birth Name: Thandiwe Newton
Birth Date: November 6, 1972
Birth Place: Zambia
Height: 5' 2"
Background: British, Zimbabwean
Quote: "I remember one day on the set of Flirting, Nicole telling
me she'd got an audition with [Tom] Cruise for his movie Days of Thunder.
Jokingly, I asked her why she'd ever want to work with him. We all know the
answer to that now."
Thandie Newton Biography
Thandie (pronounced Tan-dee) Newton was born November 6, 1972, in Zambia,
Africa. Her exotic and original beauty can be attributed to her mixed heritage:
her father Nick Newton, a British artist and former lab technician married
Nyasha, a Zimbabwean nurse.
Because of political instability in her native Zambia, Thandie's family relocated
to Nick's hometown of Penzance, England, when Thandie was 5 years old. Growing
up in England along with her younger brother James, Thandie was originally
passionate about dance.
While studying modern dance at the London Art Educational School, a back
injury led her to acting when she was forced to miss classes and was encouraged
to audition for a film that was on the lookout for fresh talent at her school.
The movie that was holding auditions was entitled Flirting, by Australian
director John Duigan. Released in 1991, the film marks Thandie's feature film
debut and a switch in career goals -- especially considering the Australian
film awards she earned. While playing "Thandiwe" (Duigan chose the name in
honor of the actress), Thandie befriended her pal and co-star, Australian
actress Nicole Kidman.
Incidentally, Flirting wasn't only the name of the movie, but it was also
what was going on between Thandie and director Duigan, as the two were allegedly
romantically involved. Duigan continued to play an important role throughout
Thandie's film career, having directed her in 1995's The Journey of August
King, co-starring Jason Patric, and 1996's The Leading Man, opposite Jon Bon
After Flirting, Thandie was cast in the 1994 bloodfest, Interview With The
Vampire, starring Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt and Kirsten
Dunst. After a role in 1995's Jefferson in Paris, which featured her as
Thomas Jefferson's slave mistress, Thandie tried to diversify her acting portfolio
(all the while studying at Cambridge university for her Anthropology degree)
with her role in 1997's Gridlock'd (co-starring Tim Roth and the late Tupac
Shakur), showcasing the actress as a heroine-addicted jazz singer.
Thandie received critical praise for the latter, and her skills were further
underscored by her work in Bernardo Bertolucci's Beseiged, in 1998. That same
year, Thandie starred as the title character in Jonathan Demme's adaptation
of the Toni Morrison novel, Beloved. Although "Thandie" literally translates
into "beloved," and Thandie herself gave a solid performance, the film bombed
at the box-office.
Thandie was chosen to join Vanity Fair 's April 1999 cover of the "Up and
Comers," although she had not been in a high-profile role. That would all
change in the summer of 2000, when she worked with her former Interview co-star,
Tom Cruise, in John Woo's Mission: Impossible 2.
As jewel thief Nyah Hall, Thandie practically stole the show from her co-star
and the thrilling special effects, and audiences wondered who the "new actress"
sharing steamy scenes with Tom Cruise was.
Not only is she far from a new actress, but the steamy chemistry between
her and Cruise was surely acting; she is happily married to screenwriter Oliver
Parker, who she met when starred in his made-for-TV movie, In Your Dreams.
Thandie was set to join heavenly actresses Drew
Barrymore and Cameron Diaz in the film
Charlie's Angels (a part which Lucy Lui ultimately
landed), but had to pass due to scheduling conflicts. There will be another
Charlie in her life though, as she is set to co-star with Mark Walhberg in
the film The Truth About Charlie.
Thandie and her husband recently welcomed a new addition to their family
in September 2000, their daughter Ripley.
Thandie Newton Filmography
The Pursuit of Happyness (2006) .... Linda
2006 BET Awards Nominations Live (2006) (TV) .... Presenter
"ER"(2005) TV .... Makemba 'Kem' Likasu
Crash (2004) .... Christine
... aka L.A. Crash (Germany)
The Chronicles of Riddick (2004) .... Dame Vaako
... aka The Chronicles of Riddick: The Director's Cut (USA: director's cut)
Shade (2003/I) .... Tiffany
The Truth About Charlie (2002) .... Regina Lambert
... aka Wahrheit über Charlie, Die (Germany)
It Was an Accident (2000) .... Noreen Hurlock
Mission: Impossible II (2000) .... Nyah Nordoff-Hall
... aka M:I-2 (USA: DVD box title (promotional abbreviation))
... aka Mission: Impossible II (Germany)
Beloved (1998/I) .... Beloved
Besieged (1998) .... Shandurai
... aka Assedio, L' (Italy)
... aka The Siege (Canada: English title)
In Your Dreams (1997) (TV) .... Clare
Gridlock'd (1997) .... Barbara 'Cookie' Cook
The Leading Man (1996) .... Hilary Rule
The Journey of August King (1995) .... Annalees
Jefferson in Paris (1995) .... Sally Hemings
... aka Jefferson à Paris (France)
Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994) .... Yvette
... aka Interview with the Vampire (USA: short title)
Loaded (1994) .... Zita
... aka Bloody Weekend (UK)
The Young Americans (1993) .... Rachael Stevens
Pirate Prince (1991) (TV) .... Becky Newton
Flirting (1991) .... Thandiwe Adjewa
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