Thandiwe Newton gave a tearful apology to darker-skinned actresses in an emotional new interview.
Newton, 49, discussed her new film “God’s Country” where she portrays a professor who confronts two white hunters on her property with the Associated Press.
The movie is based on James Lee Burke’s short story, whose protagonist is an older white male.
The “Crash” actress spoke about how she had trouble taking the role at first, saying: “I now realize that my internalized prejudices were stopping me from feeling like I could play this role.”
She continued, “When it’s precisely that prejudice that I’ve received — doesn’t matter that it’s from African-American women more than anyone else. It doesn’t matter. I received prejudice. Anyone who’s received prejudice feels this character.”
“I’ve wanted so desperately to apologize every day to darker-skinned actresses. To say, ‘I’m sorry that I’m the one chosen. My mama looks like you,’” the British thespian added.
“It’s been very painful to have women that look like my mom feel like I’m not representing them. That I’m taking from them. Taking their men, taking their work, taking their truth,” Newton noted. Newton’s mom, Nyasha, hails from Zimbabwe and is a princess from the Shona tribe.
Newton says that despite her experiences, she hopes she made a difference for women who look like her during the course of her career. “I do think that any women of color who — whether they are pale, or whatever — who have managed to help other actors get into this business, we matter,” she said.
The “Interview With a Vampire” actress continued, “Whenever they say that black women have watched the movie, and it’s really, really, really mattered to them, I just thank God that my light skin didn’t stop that from happening. That it didn’t cause more pain.”
Newton previously expressed her thoughts about colorism in Hollywood in a profile with British Vogue last year.
She alleged that her “Flirting” director John Duigan asked her in 1991, “Can you be a bit darker?” She then covered herself in coconut oil and began bronzing herself up.
“Got the role. Colourism has just been the funniest. I’ve been too Black, not Black enough. I’m always Black. I’m just like, whadda you people want!” Newton said.