Thandiwe Newton, the acclaimed actress formerly known as Thandie Newton, is getting back to her roots.
The 48-year-old “Westworld” star has had a long career on both the big and small screens and has always been known as Thandie — but as it turns out, that isn’t her birth name.
From here on out, the star will go by Thandiwe, she revealed in a new interview with British Vogue.
Newton began to drop the “W” from her name when she was in school in an effort to minimize the discrimination against her as a young Black girl.
Thandie Newton will now go by her birthname, Thandiwe Newton, after the “W” was mistakenly left off of her first film credit. (Getty Images)
The “W” was absent from all of her subsequent credits as well.
“That’s my name. It’s always been my name,” she said. “I’m taking back what’s mine.”
The name means “beloved” in the Zimbabwean language of Shona. Her mother is from the African nation.
The pronunciation of her name was not clarified. Traditionally, the name is pronounced tan-DEE-way.
The misspelling of her name wasn’t the only struggle she had while starring opposite Nicole Kidman in “Flirting,” however, as the movie’s director, John Duigan, allegedly asked if she could make her skin “a bit darker.”
Newton said she spent a weekend bronzing and using coconut oil.
“Got the role. Colourism has just been the funniest,” she recounted. “I’ve been too Black, not Black enough. I’m always Black. I’m just like, whadda you people want!”
The Emmy winner began to drop the “W” from her name in school in order to fit in with the other children. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
Duigan could not immediately be reached for comment.
Since her days in “Flirting,” Newton has become a force in Hollywood, winning a BAFTA for her performance in “Crash” and an Emmy for her work on “Westworld.”
She also starred in high-profile flicks like “Mission: Impossible II,” “The Pursuit of Happyness,” “W.” and “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” making her the first Black woman to have a major role in the franchise. Most recently, she lent her voice to the adult cartoon “Big Mouth.”