Thandiwe Newton Reverts to Original Zulu Spelling of Her Name

Naman Ramachandran
·2-min read

British actor Thandiwe Newton is reverting to the original Zulu spelling of her name, after decades of being known and credited as “Thandie Newton.”

The Emmy-winning “Westworld” actor was born Melanie Thandiwe Newton Parker. “That’s my name. It’s always been my name. I’m taking back what’s mine,” the actor said in an interview with British Vogue. The Vogue article also states that “the W was carelessly missed out from her first credit.”

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Newton debuted in 1991 with John Duigan’s “Flirting,” where she played a character named Thandiwe Adjewa. All future credits for her will be with the correct spelling.

The actor is of Shona heritage, from Zimbabwe, on her mother’s side. Thandiwe means “beloved” in Zulu.

The actor is on the cover of the May issue of British Vogue. She discusses her career in depth with writer Diana Evans.

“The thing I’m most grateful for in our business right now is being in the company of others who truly see me. And to not be complicit in the objectification of Black people as ‘others,’ which is what happens when you’re the only one,” Newton said.

In the interview, she also recalled that when she won a BAFTA for her performance in “Crash,” a U.K. newspaper said she wasn’t really British because one of her parents is Black. “I remember thinking, ‘But it’s a British win! Why don’t you wanna take that? Why would you not wanna dig that and embrace it and feel really good?,’” Newton said.

Upcoming films for Newton include sci-fi “Reminiscence,” and thrillers “God’s Country” and “All the Old Knives.”

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