Disney’s adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s A WRINKLE IN TIME is set to hit theaters on March 9. The Ava DuVernay film features an incredible cast including Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling and Zach Galifianakis. In addition to that bevy of A-list actors, it also has more talent you might not be familiar with. One person is Gugu Mbatha-Raw, a great talent whose reputation has been steadily building for years.
Gugu Mbatha-Raw plays physicist Dr. Kate Murry in A WRINKLE IN TIME, the mother to the Murry children. The story focuses on the disappearance of her husband, Dr. Alex Murry, and the universe-spanning search his children mount to find him. Her character might not have a huge role in the film, but Gugu Mbatha-Raw is an amazing actress whose star is on the rise. In preparation for her role in A WRINKLE IN TIME, let’s look at her impressive career.
Gugu Mbatha-Raw grew up in Witney, England, but she didn’t make her television debut until she was 22 years old. She trained as a dancer at many different schools before she pursued acting at Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. She began acting in stage plays, and in 2005, she was nominated for the Manchester Evening News Award for her role as Juliet in Romeo & Juliet. In the mid-2000s, Mbatha-Raw began appearing in minor roles on many TV shows including Doctor Who, MI-5, Bad Girls and Vital Signs. She landed a recurring role on the British series Undercovers in 2010, before making her big screen debut.
Her big break came in 2011, when she nabbed a role in the Tom Hanks directed film, LARRY CROWNE. She then landed a small role in the Anton Yelchin vehicle ODD THOMAS, but her career would soon take off. In 2013, critics praised Mbatha-Raw for her role as Dido Elizabeth Belle in BELLE. The period drama was a critical darling and Mbatha-Raw was a standout. Critics called her performance “enchanting” and “star-making”.
Fresh off her role in BELLE, Mbatha-Raw’s follow-up performance as Noni in BEYONE THE LIGHTS was captivating. Although both Belle and Beyond the Lights weren’t box office juggernauts, the actress’s talent didn’t go unnoticed. In the years that followed, Mbatha-Raw built an impressive filmography including roles in JUPITER ASCENDING, CONCUSSION and THE FREE STATE OF JONES. Sadly, those films weren’t well-received, but Mbatha-Raw landed a solid role in the 2016 film MISS SLOANE.
Her career took off yet again when she starred in the Black Mirror episode ‘San Junipero.’ The anthology series has built up a strong fan base over the years, but ‘San Junipero’ launched the show into the stratosphere. The episode was anchored by beautiful storytelling and the chemistry between Mackenzie Davis and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. The modern love story, a deviation from the usual dark sci-fi fare, struck a chord with fans around the world.
Her next big role would come a few months later as Plumette in the live-action remake of the 1992 Disney classic, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. She voiced a CGI character for most of the film, but she did make several on-screen appearances as well. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is her highest grossing film to date and earned $1.2 billion at the worldwide box office. She then starred in the Netflix film, The Cloverfield Paradox; however, it was slammed by critics and audiences.
Gugu Mbatha-Raw is still a rising star in Hollywood. Her talent is undeniable, her performances nearly flawless. She brings something even to less-than-stellar films. We expect her to shine in A WRINKLE IN TIME and can’t wait to see where else her career takes her.
See A WRINKLE IN TIME when it hits theaters on March 9, 2018.