Gugu Mbatha Raw is Authenticity

[tweet_box design=”box_13_at” float=”left” width=”40%” author=”Gugu Mbatha Raw” pic_url=””]Mbatha Raw was named gugulethu, which is a contraction of the Zulu words meaning “Our treasure”[/tweet_box]

The Latest
For Gugu Mbatha Raw, 2016 and 2017 are proving to be busy. She has three films either completed or in post-production for 2016 and one more already in post-production for 2017. Miss Sloane, The Whole Truth and Free State of Jones are her latest endeavors and soon to be released for 2016. Beauty and the Beast is scheduled for 2017.
In Miss Sloane, the cast reveals a story involving both sides of the gun control debate. It is described as a political thriller where the lead characters put their closest in jeopardy and their careers at risk. Both sides are determined to win regardless of cost in this film about deeply felt issues in America today. According to Variety-Film News, Mbatha Raw will play a gun control lobbyist. The film is directed by John Madden.
In The Whole Truth, Mbatha Raw plays Janelle. This is a drama about a teenager who is accused of murdering his father. His defense attorney works for to get him acquitted of the charge.
In Free State of Jones, Rachel is the role that Mbatha Raw plays. This is a drama set in the Civil War period. A poor Mississippi farmer leads a group of rebels against the Confederate army.
Gugu Mbatha Raw plays the part of Plumette in Beauty and the Beast. The romantic musical will feature the famous story of the monster prince who falls in love with the beautiful maiden. Emma Watson is Belle, Dan Stevens is Beast, Ewan McGregor is Lumiere, Emma Thompson is Mrs. Potts, and Luke Evans is Gaston. With Stanley Tucci as Cadenza, Ian McKellen as Cogsworth and a stellar cast filling out the other parts, it is certain to be a lovely adaptation of the cherished tale.

Films and Television
Throughout the years, Gugu Mbatha Raw has developed a distinguished list of acting credits. In 2015 she was Prema Mutiso in Concussion and Famulus in Jupiter Ascending. In 2014 she took on the lead role of Noni in Beyond the Lights. In 2013, she portrayed Viola Peabody in Odd Thomas, and earned the leading role of Dido Elizabeth Belle in Belle. Her exquisite features and superb portrayal literally turned heads in this period film.
From 2005 to 2012 she had roles in numerous TV Series and several other films, such as Doctor Who in 2007 and Larry Crowne in 2011. These two alone, as popular favorites, added to her notable lists of credits, and provided the positive public attention which supported her path to fame.

Born in Oxford, England, Mbatha Raw was named Gugulethu, which is a contraction of the Zulu words meaning “Our treasure”. She was educated at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and has been an actress from 2004 to the present. Many feel that her most notable work was in Belle, because that is one of the films which brought her into the popular spotlight. There was no mistaking her beauty or her acting skills, as she displayed the wide range of emotions necessary to her portrayal of a difficult life lived in a world where one’s family history determined one’s options and paths.

Beyond the Lights
In the, writer ReBecca Theodore-Vachon describes Gugu Mbatha Raw’s role of Noni Jean in Beyond the Lights. She said that, “It was important for her to bring as much authenticity to her role”.

Mbatha Raw spoke about her challenges:

“I sang all of the Noni tracks and it was a real challenge and took me out of my comfort zone.”
It is obvious that Gugu Mbatha Raw is an actress who approaches every role with the determination to ‘bring authenticity” to whatever character she plays and this is a key element to her continued and much-deserved success.

Author: Judy Greenlees

Judy Greenlees is the co-author of Cherished to the Utmost, a Christian romance novel. She has several published short stories in various genres, including A Suitable Box, The Argument Letter, and a few zombie apocalypse adventures. Her articles have been published on,,, and the Internet. Her B.A. in Music History from California State University Fullerton was followed over 20 years later with an MBA from NYIT at the age of 51. She founded a fine arts non-profit educational organization and has been a teacher and professional musician for over 34 years. She currently enjoys writing and living in New England; near her daughter, son and daughter-in-law.

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