British actress Thandie Newton is reverting back to her OG name, after a spelling error in the credits of her first film stuck her with the incorrect – and anglicised – version of her name for more than three decades.
From here on in, she’ll be going by Thandiwe (pronounced tan-DEE-way), the Zimbabwean spelling of her name. Thandiwe means “beloved” in Shona, the language of Zimbabwe, which is where her mum is from.
She made the announcement in the most chic of ways: on the cover of British Vogue.
“That’s my name. It’s always been my name. I’m taking back what’s mine,” she told the publication.
Accompanying the interview was a bloody FIRE photoshoot, which – as British Vogue editor Edward Enninful writes, “brought together the duel influences of her Zimbabwean and British heritages”.
It’s just – wow. I cannot.
Thandiwe – who was born Melanie Thandiwe Newton – revealed to British Vogue that her name was misspelled in the credits of her first film, 1991’s Flirting. It stuck for three decades. Not anymore. From here on out, the Westworld actress will be credited as Thandiwe Newton in every one of her projects. Hell yeah.
In the interview, Thandiwe also spoke about her experiences of racism and abuse within the film industry, and how it propelled her to become an active feminist and campaigner long before the #MeToo movement was propelled into the mainstream.
“I have a seventh sense for abuse and abusers, which I believe is one of the reasons why I was rejected a lot in Hollywood,” she said.
“I’ll talk about it until the cows come home, because I know I’ll be helping someone.”
Thandiwe, who revealed last year she quit iconic 2001 film Charlie’s Angels over alleged racist comments from former Sony Pictures head Amy Pascal (Lucy Lui was cast instead), says there’s still a real fear in Hollywood that speaking up about racism, sexism, or any other inequality will cost you work.
“Even though people know they can speak out now, there is still the fear of losing their job,” she said.
“I mean literally, people still say, ‘There’s someone else who could take this position, if you’re not happy’, that kind of shit. I do think studio heads need to take much more responsibility.”
Hell friggin’ year. Also, more of this pls, now and forever: