Sunday, February 7, 2016

The U.T.C.: Gugu Mbatha-Raw

Back in 2014, Gugu Mbatha-Raw had quite a breakthrough. First, she gave a quiet powerhouse performance in the costume drama Belle as a mixed race woman struggling to adjust to life in Victorian England. Then right after came her work as a Rihanna-esque pop star in Beyond The Lights. 

But not only has she proven her ability to carry a film, but also her ability to hold her own amongst veterans like Will Smith and even Tom Hanks in Larry Crowne where she delivers a 180 from her Belle performance as a spunky and rather naive college student with a heart of gold. 

So she's a very dynamic performer and very charismatic yet it seems Hollywood hasn't figured out what to do with her. She had very little to do in Jupiter Ascending and Concussion and while she will be in the upcoming Beauty and the Beast adaptation, she'll still be playing (*sigh*) a motion capture role as a feather duster. 

However, a few projects she has on the horizon give a small glimmer of hope that her U.T.C. membership will be revoked soon. One is the Civil War drama The Free State of Jones opposite Matthew McConaughey where she plays McConaughey's former slave wife. There is also The Whole Truth where she'll star opposite Keanu Reeves and Renee Zellweger. It is being directed by Courtney Hunt who guided Melissa Leo to an Oscar nomination for Frozen River back in 2009. So if a big distributor picks it up, we'll see where it goes.

Her name was also thrown around for the new Star Wars sequel but as of right now, her name is anything but confirmed even though principal production should be starting soon. If her casting does come to fruition, then not only would Hollywood be taking advantage of her rising star, but larger audiences will begin to take note of her talent. Even if it doesn't land her an Oscar nomination, then more doors might still open for her.