Meet the first South African actress to lead an American series!!! Thuso Mbedu
Photo Credit: Thuso Mbedu Facebook - On File

Thuso Mbedu is an award-winning South African actress who is making a name for herself on the international stage; recently, she landed a massive role.


Hollywood, United States of America (29 April 2021) – Proudly, South African star Thuso Mbedu has landed a major Hollywood role and is set to star alongside Oscar-winning Viola Davis.

Thuso was born in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal in 1991. Sadly she lost both her parents at a young age but was taken in by her grandmother, who supported her through school and encouraged all her dreams. When Thuso graduated from high school, she enrolled at the University of Witwatersrand (WITS), studying Physical Theatre and Performing Arts Management. Thuso later graduated with honours and, before launching her career, took some time to further her experience at an acting school in New York.

Thuso’s standout role in South Africa was as Winnie Bhengu in Is’Thunzi. She was nominated for four local awards for this role and won the Best Actress TV Drama at the 12th South African Film and Television Awards in 2018.

Hollywood was calling, and in 2019, she landed a leading role for an international series. Thuso will feature as the lead in a series adapted from Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Underground Railroad.

The Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad was published in 2016 and is the sixth novel by American author Colson Whitehead.

The alternate history novel tells the story of Cora and Caesar, two slaves in the southeastern United States during the 19th century, who make a bid for freedom from their Georgia plantations by following the Underground Railroad, which the novel depicts as primarily a rail transport system in addition to a series of safe houses and secret routes.

The Underground Railroad was a critical and commercial success, hitting the bestseller lists and winning several notable prizes. It won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the 2016 National Book Award for Fiction, the Arthur C. Clarke Award and the 2017 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence.

Amazon is making a limited drama series based on the book written and directed by Barry Jenkins, who co-wrote and directed the Oscar-winning film Moonlight! The drama series adaptation is set to be one of the favourable productions of the year and a role that will shoot Mbedu to stardom in America!

It will be released on the 14th of May, 2021. Take a look at the trailer below.

The Woman King

The Woman King is set to be an incredible Hollywood movie that celebrates African history from the 18th and 19th century. Thuso will be starring alongside Viola Davis, an Oscar-winning actress who is known for her roles in How to Get Away with Murder, The Help (for which she won an Oscar) and Suicide Squad.

The Woman King is a historical epic inspired by true events that took place in The Kingdom of Dahomey, one of the most powerful states of Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries. The story follows Nanisca, General of the all-female military unit, and Nawi, an ambitious recruit, who together fought enemies who violated their honour, enslaved their people, and threatened to destroy everything they’ve lived for.

Viola only had good things to say about Thuso when the news of the role broke. It seems that 2021 will be our proudly South African star’s breakout year, and her career will quickly rise. Thuso says the role is a dream come true.

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

We are so incredibly proud and cannot wait to see Thusa’s name in the big lights! Stay tuned for updates.

Sources: Deadline / Wikipedia / JuVee Productions
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Tyler Leigh Vivier
About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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