TESSA THOMPSON ("Bianca") is an acclaimed actress best known
for her starring roles Dear White People, Creed and
This past summer, Thompson starred in director Boots Riley's Sorry to Bother
You. The film was acquired by Megan
Ellison's Annapurna Pictures out of the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and tells
the story of a black telemarketer who
becomes successful when he discovers a way to make his voice sound like it is
overdubbed by a white actor in a macabre,
magical-realist Oakland. Armie Hammer, Lakeith Stanfield and Steven Yuen also
star. The film was successfully released
in July 2018.
Next, Thompson will be seen in MGM's Creed Ii. The sequel, directed by Steve
Caple Jr., brings Apollo Creed's son
Adonis toward the inevitable clash with the sun of Russian brawler Ivan Drago,
who killed Creed in the in the ring in
Rocky Iv. Ryan Coogler, who directed the first Creed is an executive producer
along with Michael B. Jordan who reprise
the role of "Adonis." The film will release nationwide on November 21, 2018 by
In February 2018, Thompson starred opposite Natalie Portman in the sci-fi
thriller, Annihilation for director Alex Garland
and producer Scott Rudin. Oscar Isaac, Gina Rodriguez, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and
Sonoya Mizuno also star. The film was
released on February 23, 2018 and tells the story of a team of scientists who
sign up for a dangerous expedition into a
mysterious zone where the laws of nature don't apply.
Prior to Annihilation, Thompson starred as fan favorite "Valkyrie" in the
third installment of the Thor franchise opposite
Chris Hemsworth. Thor: Ragnarok was directed by Taika Waititi and also stars Tom
Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Jeff
Goldblum, and Mark Ruffalo. The film was released in November 2017.
Recently, Thompson has wrapped production on Sony's Men in Black reboot.
Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald are
producing, while Steven Spielberg is returning as executive producer. The film,
directed by F. Gary Gray, will feature
new characters rather than Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith's characters, Agents K
and J, and will build on the
contemporary sci-fi world in which they operated. Chris Hemsworth, Emma
Thompson, Liam Neeson, Kumail Nanjiani
and Rebecca Ferguson are confirmed to star as well.
Thompson is also set to star alongside Ruth Negga on Rebecca Hall's
directorial debut Passing. Hall wrote the script,
based on Nella Larsen's Harlem Renaissance novel of the same name. Negga and
Thompson will star as Clare Kendry
and Irene Redfield, respectively, high-school friends who reunite later in life.
Clare lives in Europe and "passes" for
white, keeping her black identity a secret from everyone, including her family.
As she and Irene become close, the novel
explores the binaries of race, sexuality, and class.
Thompson was recently seen in indie title Little Woods with Lily James. The
film is a modern Western that tells the story
of two sisters, Ollie (Thompson) and Deb (James), who are driven to work outside
the law to better their lives. The film
premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival on April 21, 2018 and has been
picked up by Neon for distribution.
In 2015, Thompson appeared in the Warner Bros. Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Pictures Creed from award-winning
filmmaker Ryan Coogler (Black Panther). The film explored a new chapter in the
"Rocky" story and stars
Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone in his iconic role. Thompson starred as
"Bianca," a local singer-songwriter who
becomes involved with Adonis (Jordan). The film was released on November 25,
2015, and garnered critical acclaim and
award accolades for the cast. The National Board of Review selected Creed as one
of the "Top Films" of 2015. Thompson
has been confirmed to return for the film's sequel, which has a release date of
November 21, 2018.
Thompson also stars in the Emmy nominated, hit HBO Drama Series Westworld
which premiered on October 2, 2016.
Described as a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the
future of sin, Westworld, from Jonathan
Nolan and J.J. Abrams, is inspired by the 1973 feature from writer-director
Michael Crichton. Thompson plays 'Charlotte
Hale,' a mysterious and savvy provocateur with a unique perspective on Westworld.
She joins Anthony Hopkins, Ed
Harris, Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden, Thandie Newton, and Jeffrey Wright. The
series earned 22 Emmy
nominations for its first season. The second season premiered on April 22, 2018
and garnered 21 Emmy nominations.
In the Spring of 2016, Thompson made her Off-Broadway debut in the Second Stage
Theater production Lydia R.
Diamond's Smart People, appearing alongside a cast that also included Joshua
Jackson, Mahershala Ali and Anne Son for
director Kenny Leon. Smart People ran from January 26 through March 6, 2016.
Thompson portrayed the civil rights activist "Diane Nash" in the Brad
Pitt/Oprah Winfrey-produced film SELMA. After
its initial premiere at the American Film Institute Festival on November 11,
2014, the film had a wider theatrical release
on January 9, 2015, and a commemorative re-release on March 20, 2015, in honor
of the 50th anniversary of the historical
march. It garnered nominations for Best Picture and awards for Best Original
Song at both the Golden Globe and
Academy Awards, and additional Best Director and Best Actor nominations at the
Thompson also starred in the critically acclaimed 2014 film Dear White
People. The Justin Simien independent satirical
drama, which followed the lives of various black students at an American
university, hit theaters on October 17, 2014,
after its debut at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Thompson's performance as
"Samantha White" landed her a Gotham
Award for "Breakthrough Actor as well as a nomination for Outstanding Actress in
a Motion Picture for the 46th Annual
NAACP Image Awards.
Thompson started her career at the young age of 18 with her professional
debut playing "Juliet" in Romeo And Juliet:
Antebellum New Orleans 1836 for which she received a NAACP Image Award
nomination. She then went on to her first
feature film appearance as "Scarlet" in the 2006 remake of the horror film When
a Stranger Calls. Between 2008 and
2009, she also appeared in the films Make It Happen, The Human Contract,
Periphery, Red & Blue Marbles, and
Mississippi Damned for which she was awarded a Grand Jury prize for Best
Actress. Thompson's other film credits
include "Nyla/Purple" in Tyler Perry's film For Colored Girls, War on Everyone
Thompson's television credits include "Jackie Cook" on the second season of
the hit drama Veronica Mars. "Sara
Freeman" on BBC's first original scripted program Copper and guest roles as
"Rebecca Taylor" on the fourth season of
the CW's sci-fi drama HEROES; "Billie Ducette" in CBS's police series Cold Case;
"Camille" on ABC's medical series
Grey's Anatomy; and "Nikki Barnes" on the CW's teen drama Hidden Palms. She has
also appeared as a guest star in
shows such as Life, Private Practice, Detroit 187, Rizzoli & Isles, Off the Map
and 666 Park Avenue. Thompson currently
splits her time between Los Angeles and New York.