British actress Thandiwe Newton has apologized to "darker-skinned actresses" in a tearful video. The star of new film God's Country, based on James Lee Burke's short story, spoke in a new interview about her own "internalized prejudice" and her fears over playing the new role.
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The 49-year-old plays a professor who confronts two white hunters on her property. The original character in the short story was a white man from Montana, and the story challenged white male masculinity.
WATCH: British actress Thandiwe Newton has apologized to "darker-skinned actresses" in a tearful video
"I now realize that my internalized prejudice was stopping me from feeling like I could play this role, when it's precisely that prejudice that I've received," she told AP.
"It 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 oppression and prejudice feels this character."
"I've wanted so desperately to apologize every day to darker-skinned actresses," she continued before pausing and shedding tears.
"To say, 'I'm sorry that I'm the one chosen. My mama looks like you'. 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."
Thandiwe's mother Nyasha is a Shona tribe princess from Zimbabwe.
She continued: "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. 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."
In April 2021 Thandiwe (prounded Tan-dee-way) revealed she was reverting to the original spelling of her name; since 1991 the name was spelled Thandie.
"That's my name. It's always been my name. I'm taking back what's mine," she told British Vogue.
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