Actress Reclaims Name: 'I'm Taking Back What's Mine'

'Thandie' Newton will be 'Thandiwe' Newton going forward
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 5, 2021 8:09 AM CDT
Actress Reclaims Name: 'I'm Taking Back What's Mine'
Thandie Newton is 'taking back' her name of Thandiwe Newton.   (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

You may know her as Thandie Newton. But from now on, the 48-year-old British actress will be known as Thandiwe Newton—a nod to her Zimbabwean roots, reports the Guardian. "That’s my name. It’s always been my name. I’m taking back what’s mine,” the Westworld actress tells British Vogue. The magazine explains that 30 years ago, the w in her first name was "carelessly missed" in her first acting credit, the 1991 film Flirting. Newton has gone with the anglicized version ever since—but that changed with the Vogue cover, and she will keep it that way in future projects.

In the interview, Newton says her Zimbabwean mother was the granddaughter of a Shona chief. By tradition, that made her a princess, a royal lineage that passes down to Newton herself as well as her own daughters. The name Thandiwe means "beloved" in the Shona language, she adds. Newton says the timing seems right to reclaim her name, per Page Six. “The thing I’m most grateful for in our business right now is being in the company of others who truly see me," she says. "And to not be complicit in the objectification of Black people as ‘others,' which is what happens when you’re the only one.” (More uplifting news stories.)

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