Tessa Lynn Thompson (born October 3, 1983) is an American actress, singer, and songwriter. Her breakout role was in Tina Mabry's 2009 indie film Mississippi Damned. She gained further recognition for her starring roles as Nyla Adrose in the drama film For Colored Girls (2010), civil rights activist Diane Nash in the historical drama film Selma (2014), Bianca Taylor in the sports drama film Creed (2015) and its sequel Creed II (2018), Valkyrie in the superhero film Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Josie Radek in the science-fiction horror film Annihilation (2018), and Detroit in the science-fiction comedy Sorry to Bother You (2018).
Thompson in 2017
Tessa Lynn Thompson
October 3, 1983
|Alma mater||Santa Monica College|
On television, Thompson has starred as Jackie Cook in the mystery drama Veronica Mars (2005–2006), Sara Freeman in the period crime drama Copper (2012–2013), and Charlotte Hale in the HBO science-fiction thriller Westworld (2016–present).
Thompson was born on October 3, 1983, in Los Angeles, California. She was raised between Los Angeles and Brooklyn, New York. Her father, singer-songwriter Marc Anthony Thompson of the musical collective Chocolate Genius, Inc., is of Afro-Panamanian descent, while her mother is of European and Mexican ancestry. She attended Santa Monica High School and then Santa Monica College, where she studied cultural anthropology.
In 2002, Thompson made her professional stage debut in Los Angeles Women's Shakespeare Company's production of The Tempest. In 2003, Thompson appeared as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet: Antebellum New Orleans, 1836 with The Theatre @ Boston Court in Pasadena, California, which earned her an NAACP Theatre Award nomination.
Thompson made her first television appearance in a 2005 episode of the CBS series Cold Case in the role of a bootlegging lesbian from the 1930s. In the same year, she rose to fame as she landed the role of Jackie Cook on the UPN/CW neo-noir drama series Veronica Mars, starring as a series regular season two. In 2006, she appeared on the ABC medical drama Grey's Anatomy. In 2007, she was a part of the cast on the CW's short-lived drama Hidden Palms, portraying Nikki Barnes. She worked on guest star roles on Life and Private Practice, and appeared in season four of Heroes.
In 2010, she had a guest role as the wife of a detective on Detroit 187. In 2012, she had a guest role as Gavin Doran's daughter, Sasha, on 666 Park Avenue. In 2013, she starred in BBC America's first original series Copper. In 2016, she began a starring role in the HBO science-fiction drama series Westworld as board director Charlotte Hale.
Thompson's first feature film appearance was in the 2006 remake of the horror film When a Stranger Calls playing the role of Scarlett. Thompson was next seen opposite Mary Elizabeth Winstead in the dancing film Make it Happen in 2008.
In 2010, Thompson appeared in Tyler Perry's stage play adaptation For Colored Girls, after she directly approached Perry to be cast in the film. In 2014, she starred as Samantha White in Justin Simien's Sundance-winning comedy Dear White People. That same year, Thompson played civil rights activist Diane Nash in Ava DuVernay's Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic Selma. In 2015, she appeared in Ryan Coogler's Rocky sequel Creed, and in Nate Ruess' short film The Grand Romantic.
In April 2016, Thompson was cast as Valkyrie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero film Thor: Ragnarok, which was released on November 3, 2017. She then appeared in the science-fiction horror film Annihilation, which was released on February 23, 2018. In June 2017, Thompson was cast in the science-fiction comedy Sorry to Bother You, which was released on July 6, 2018. She reprised her role as Bianca Taylor in Creed II, which was released on November 21, 2018.
She will also have a starring role in the Men in Black spin-off film, Men in Black: International. The film, which reunites her with Thor: Ragnarok co-star Chris Hemsworth, is set for release on June 14, 2019.
Thompson is also a singer-songwriter. She has in the past been a member of the Los Angeles-based indie electro soul band Caught a Ghost, and contributed to the soundtracks for both Creed and Creed II, for which she co-wrote and performed several songs with producer Moses Sumney.
Thompson came out as bisexual in an interview published in June 2018, declaring: "In my family you can be anything you want to be. I'm attracted to men and also to women. If I bring a woman home, or a man, we don't even have to have the discussion".
|2006||When a Stranger Calls||Scarlet|
|2008||Make It Happen||Dana|
|The Human Contract||Waitress|
|2009||Mississippi Damned||Kari Peterson (at age 20)|
|2010||Everyday Black Man||Claire|
|For Colored Girls||Nyla Adrose|
|Red & Blue Marbles||Becca|
|2012||Murder on the 13th Floor||Nia Palmer|
|2014||Dear White People||Samantha "Sam" White|
|Grantham & Rose||Wallis|
|2015||Creed||Bianca Taylor||Also Songwriter|
|2016||War on Everyone||Jackie Hollis|
|Thor: Ragnarok||Valkyrie / Scrapper 142|
|2018||Sorry to Bother You||Detroit|
|Dirty Computer||Zen / Mary Apple 23||Short film|
|Creed II||Bianca Taylor|
|2019||Avengers: Endgame||Valkyrie / Scrapper 142||Post-production|
|Men in Black: International||Agent M||Post-production|
|Lady and the Tramp||Lady (voice)||Post-production|
|2005||Cold Case||Wilhemina "Billie" Doucette||Episode: "Best Friends"|
|2005–2006||Veronica Mars||Jackie Cook||Main role (12 episodes)|
|2006||Grey's Anatomy||Camille Travis||Episodes: "Deterioration of the Fight or Flight Response", "Losing My Religion"|
|The Initiation of Sarah||Esme||TV film|
|2007||Hidden Palms||Nikki Barnes||Main role (7 episodes)|
|2009||Mental||Lainey Jefferson||Episode: "Lines in the Sand"|
|Private Practice||Zoe||Episodes: "Yours, Mine & Ours", "Strange Bedfellows"|
|Heroes||Rebecca Taylor||Episodes: "Hysterical Blindness", "Strange Attractors", "Shadowboxing"|
|Three Rivers||Penelope Kirkell||Episode: "A Roll of the Dice"|
|Blue Belle||Blue||Lead role (5 episodes)|
|2010–2011||Detroit 1-8-7||Lauren Washington||3 episodes|
|2011||Off the Map||Sydney||Episode: "A Doctor Time Out"|
|Rizzoli & Isles||FBI Agent Anna Farrell||Episode: "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother"|
|2012–2013||666 Park Avenue||Sasha Doran||Recurring role (5 episodes)|
|Copper||Sara Freeman||Main role (22 episodes)|
|2016||BoJack Horseman||Tanisha (voice)||Episode: "Love And/Or Marriage"|
|2016–present||Westworld||Charlotte Hale||Main role|
|2018||Portlandia||Bailey||Episode: "Rose Route"|
|Dear White People||Rikki Carter||Episodes: "Volume 2: Chapter V", "Volume 2: Chapter X"|
|2018||"Make Me Feel"||Janelle Monáe||Zen / Mary Apple 53|
Awards and nominationsEdit
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...a Panamanian father and half Mexican, half white mother.
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- "Rosario Dawson and Tessa Thompson Know Bernie Sanders Is "the Feminist in This Race"". Elle. April 1, 2016. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
- "Tessa Thompson Heads to 'Avengers 4' Set in Atlanta With Chris Hemsworth". TheWrap. 2018-09-22. Retrieved 2018-09-22.
- Framke, Caroline. "Janelle Monáe doubles down on feminist self-love with her new music video for "Pynk"". Vox. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
- Framke, Caroline. "The video for Jay-Z's "Moonlight" is an all-black Friends remake — until it's not". Vox. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
- Grierson, Tim. "Why Janelle Monae's 'Dirty Computer' Film Is a Timely New Sci-Fi Masterpiece". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
- "2009 Winners". American Black Film Festival. Archived from the original on February 7, 2017. Retrieved June 18, 2016.
- "Winners > 2011". Black Reel Awards. Archived from the original on January 14, 2016. Retrieved June 18, 2016.
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