Thuso Mbedu has been named as one of the Best Actors Of The Year by The New York Times. The actress stunned on The Woman King as Nawi and this scored her the inclusion on the list.
Read more: Thuso Mbedu In The Running For An Oscar
The list was compiled by Wesley Morris and A.O Scott who described the KwaZulu-Natal-born actress as awesome.
Revealing the news to her followers, Thuso Mbedu said, "We’re in good company…"
In the article, the writers admit that they were drawn to the movie by the lead actress Viola Davis. However, they were shook when another actress, Thuso Mbedu gained a lot of their attention.
"All I knew about this movie, before I got there, was that Viola Davis was in it… I was less prepared for the discovery that she wasn’t the only actor with the gusto to singe my eyebrows," writes Wesley Morris.
The writer then goes on to speak about the film and Mbedu's portrayal of Nawi.
" The movie’s comedy — some of it, anyway — comes from watching Davis subdue her awe at Nawi’s relentlessness. It must have been some of the hardest acting this great actor has had to do, because Mbedu is awesome. The part needs stamina: There’s lots of running, jumping, ducking, impaling. But Mbedu ensures that every thwack, knock and stabbing packs an emotional wallop. She doesn’t appear to be acting the battles.
"She’s performing the quest Nawi has embarked on — for both belonging and independence, guidance and trust," continues the author.
Wesley then adds that Mbedu also shone on Barry Jenkins The Underground Railroad.
"This wasn’t the first time I’d seen Mbedu. She played an enslaved person on the run in “The Underground Railroad,” Barry Jenkins’s neglected 10-part masterpiece from last year, and I didn’t see a more imaginatively grueling feat of acting."
“The Woman King” is a spa day by comparison. Mbedu gets to be teary, tough, terse and sometimes, in her steeliness, a riot. (There’s a climactic moment when she has to do battle in some frilly colonial pantaloons, and she manages to make her face as hard as the fabric is delicate.) What an audience responds to is her urgency, her volcanic desire to matter, to shine. Rarely do we moviegoers get to witness someone we barely knew just minutes ago announce themselves as someone we’re desperate to see more of, but here we are: More, please," concluded Morris.
Mbedu is on a winning streak. When The Woman King premiered, she thanked her hometown for placing her where she is today.
“I now have a moment to pause and reflect…This was day 1 of the South African press tour. It was amazing. I don’t actually have the words to describe the experience. Thank you to those who joined us at Warrior Training; to NSA, @savethechildrensouthafrica, Daliwonga Secondary School and the Wits School of Arts for having us, " she said.
“Dear South Africa, You showed up in an amazing way for me and the cast of The Woman King. May you do for others as you did for me. Blessings on blessings to you. I pray that you get to fully live out your dreams.”
Image credit: ANMG