Newton has been credited as “Thandie” since his first acting credit after the “W” in “Thandiwe” was left out.
Thandiwe Newton was credited as Thandie Newton for three decades, but not anymore. As part of her British Vogue cover story, Newton announced that she is recovering the original spelling of her name, Thandiwe, in Hollywood and that she will be credited as such in all of her future film and television projects. Thandiwe means “beloved” in Shona. The only reason Thandiwe switched to Thandie in the first place is because the ‘W’ was ‘negligently overlooked on its first credit’. Newton said of the name claim: “It’s my name. It’s always been my name. I take back what is mine.
Elsewhere in the British Vogue Cover story, Newton reflected on Australian director John Duigan making her darken her skin as she auditioned for her first role in “Flirting” opposite Nicole Kidman. Newton remembered Duigan asking him, “Can you be a little darker?” Be darker Monday, ”and so she“ spent the weekend covered in coconut oil and tanned frantically. “
“I have the role,” Newton said. “The colorism is just the funniest. I have been too black, not black enough. I am still black. I’m just like, what do you want! “
Newton has often discussed the sexual abuse she faced at the hands of Duigan, from the age of just 16. Before the #MeToo movement normalized discussions of sexual abuse in Hollywood, Newton was criticized for speaking out on such issues and even had to terminate a contract with a publicist who begged her to keep quiet about her history of sexual abuse because it was “not good for your reputation.
“There was a time when my ghost changed, you know, and that was then, he was 16,” Newton said. “He completely derailed me from myself. I was traumatized. It was kind of PTSD for sure. I was so distraught and dismayed that a director had abused a young actress, and it was happening elsewhere, minors being abused and how fucked up it was. I was basically waiting for someone to come and say, ‘Well, what do we do about this?’ ”
Newton would later fight for equal pay to his male teammates alongside Evan Rachel Wood in the HBO drama series ‘Westworld’, ending the pay gap starting in season 3. “It wasn’t a celebration. I was disgusted, ”Newton said of the win. “Even though people know they can speak up now, there is always the fear of losing their job. I mean literally, people still say, “There’s somebody else out there who could take that position, if you’re not happy,” that kind of shit. I think studio managers have to take on a lot more responsibility. “
Head to British Vogue website for more on Newton’s latest interview.
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