Embracing otherness, embracing myself

Filmgoers first encountered Thandie 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, for instance, and the quiet heart of the head-banging 2012), while maintaining a strong sideline in art films, like the acclaimed Crash and last year’s 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 earlier this year to raise awareness of the chronic issue of sexual violence toward women and girls.

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