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Thuso Mbedu wins Spirit Award in Dior couture

Mbedu wins for her career-defining role as Cora Randall in Barry Jenkins' The Underground Railroad

Masego Seemela Online journalist
Thuso Mbedu poses with her Best Female Performance award.
Thuso Mbedu poses with her Best Female Performance award.
Image: AUDE GUERRUCCI

Thuso Mbedu has scooped the Best Female Performance in a New Scripted Series at the 37th annual Independent Spirit Awards.

The local actor secured her win on Sunday night at the awards held in Santa Monica, California, for her career-defining role as Cora Randall in Barry Jenkins' The Underground Railroad. Mbedu beat Anjana Vasan (We Are Lady Parts), Jana Schmieding (Rutherford Falls), Jasmine Cephas Jones (Blindspotting) and Deborah Ayorinde (Them: Covenant).

Sporting a funky braided up-do, Mbedu looked chic in a peplum pantsuit, with sexy mesh details, from Dior couture. She was styled by Los Angeles-based duo Wayman Bannerman and Micah McDonald, known as the go-to style gurus for Hollywood A-listers such as Saweetie, Tessa Thompson, Regina King and Jodie Turner-Smith.

"A big thank you to Film Independent for allowing me to be part of such an important and brilliant group of people. I’m humbled. Thank you for this recognition,” Mbedu expressed her excitement about her win on Instagram.

“Thank you to Colson Whitehead, Barry Jenkins and Amazon Studios for gifting us with The Underground Railroad. Thank you to everyone involved in creating this timeless work of art.”

Image: Momodu Mansaray

Other winners at the prestigious awards, honouring independent filmmakers, included Taylour Paige, Simon Rex, Troy Kotsur, Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson, Ruth Negga, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Lee Jung-jae.

This is not the first time Mbedu has been nodded for her role as Cora. Last year, she bagged her first international award at the inaugural Hollywood Critics Association awards.   

She has also scooped a number of nominations for her performance in the series including a Best TV Performance nomination in this year’s Dorian Awards as well as outstanding actress in a TV movie or limited series nomination for the Black Reel TV Awards.

Mbedu is currently shooting in Cape Town another international film, The Woman King, opposite Viola Davis and John Boyega. Zozibini Tunzi, Siv Ngesi, Makgotso M, Masali Baduza, Chioma Umeala and Angélique Kidjo also have supporting roles in the film.

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