Swinging from Hollywood blockbusters to sensitive indie films, Thandiwe Newton brings thoughtfulness and delicate beauty to her work.

Why you should listen

Filmgoers first encountered Thandiwe Newton in the 1991 film Flirting, a tender and skin-crawlingly honest film about young love and budding identity. In her career since then, she’s brought that same intimate touch even to big Hollywood films (she was the moral center of Mission: Impossible II and of HBO's Westworld, and the quiet heart of the head-banging 2012), while maintaining a strong sideline in art films, like the acclaimed Crash and the adaptation of Ntozake Shange’s For colored girls ... 

Born in England, her mother is Zimbabwean, and Newton is active in nonprofit work across the African continent. In 2008, she visited Mali for a campaign to bring clean water to six African nations, and as a V Day board member, Newton visited the Congo to raise awareness of the chronic issue of sexual violence toward women and girls.

Thandiwe Newton’s TED talk