Thuso Mbedu scores new film alongside Viola Davis

Kyle Zeeman Digital Editor
Thuso Mbedu has scored a dream role opposite Viola Davis.
Thuso Mbedu has scored a dream role opposite Viola Davis.
Image: Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

SA actress Thuso Mbedu has scored a new role opposite Hollywood superstar Viola Davis, in the upcoming film The Woman King.

The news comes just weeks before Thuso makes her much-anticipated debut on Amazon Prime Video's Underground Railroad.

The Woman King tells the story of a general of an all-female military unit, and her daughter, who together fight the French and neighbouring tribes who enslave their people, and threaten to destroy everything they've lived for.

Deadline reported on Wednesday that Viola and Julius Tennon of JuVee Productions issued a statement, saying they were “mesmerised by Thuso” and thought she was perfect for the project.

“The depth and complexity of emotional life, her authentic beauty, and regalness is potent. We were mesmerised by Thuso Mbedu. We wanted Woman King / Nawi to be the vehicle to introduce her on the big screen,” they said.

Director Gina Prince-Bythewood also hailed Thuso as a “generational talent”.

Thuso confirmed the news on Instagram, sharing her excitement over working alongside Viola.

“Those who know, know. Let’s do it! What an honour!," she said. 

The twice-Emmy nominated actress also became the first SA actress to lead a mainstream US series with her role as Cora in Underground Railroad, a series about a young slave who escapes from a plantation with her companion, Caesar, and heads north on the underground railway.

Viola reacted to the reports on social media, saying she was “very excited”.

Former Generations star Winnie Ntshaba was among those who celebrated the news, saying Thuso was born for the world stage.

“May God continue to enlarge your territory and multiply your talents. Congratulations darling,” she added.

Minnie Dlamini encouraged her to “keep them coming!”

While Simz Ngema said it was Thuso's time to shine.

“It’s your time! Let the sun shine on your face. Super proud of you,” she wrote.

The role comes as Thuso continues to catch the eye of Hollywood.

Late last year reports started swirling that she was shortlisted alongside two other actresses for a role on a Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi series coming to Disney+.

Thuso was also recently named on Essence Magazine’s global top 20 Black Hollywood Stars To Watch Out for 2021 list.

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