Thuso Mbedu joins Viola Davis and Lupita Nyong’o in the highly anticipated historical film The Woman King, based on the true events of West Africa’s Dahomey women warriors.
South Africa’s breakout actor Thuso Mbedu recently shared that she would be returning home to shoot her new feature film The Woman King. This, follows the announcement that she would be co-starring alongside Oscar-winning actresses Viola Davis and Lupita Nyong’o. The Woman King is based on the historical events that took place in West Africa’s powerful female warrior dynasty, the Dahomey Kingdom, between the 18th and 19th Centuries.
In an Instagram Live interview with South African actor and YouTuber Stephanie Ndlovu, Mbedu revealed that The Woman King cast and crew would be descending on South African shores to film. In the same interview, the 29-year-old actress also shared that she anticipated returning home as she had been in the U.S. for over a year filming the historical drama series The Underground Railroad, which premieres on May 14 on Prime Video.
According to Deadline, American director Gina Prince-Bythewood hailed Mbedu as a “generational talent”, adding that it was her tenacity, passion and work ethic that landed her the warrior role in The Woman King. Co-star Davis also waxed lyrical about the two-time Emmy nominated South African actress:
“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.”
The Woman King follows the story of Nanisca, played by Davis, a general of the all-female military — and her daughter Nawi portrayed by Nyong’o. The mother-daughter duo made history through their fight against French enslavement and enduring battles against other African nations that attempted to enslave the people of Dahomey. The female-only Dahomey warriors lived in Benin and were known for their formidable military discipline and fearlessness.
Mbedu’s 2018 Emmy-nomination for her astounding performance in the local drama series Is’thunzi instantly made her an international hit. In The Underground Railroad, she plays Cora, a slave woman who escapes a Georgia plantation on train only to be pursued by slave hunters. The thrilling eleven-part series is directed by Barry Jenkins, known for his work on theOscar-winning film Moonlight.