Tessa Lynn Thompson (born October 3, 1983) is an American actress. Her breakout film role came in Tina Mabry's 2009 indie film Mississippi Damned. In film, she starred as Nyla Adrose in the drama For Colored Girls (2010), civil rights activist Diane Nash in the historical drama Selma (2014), Bianca in the sports drama Creed (2015), and as Valkyrie in the superhero film Thor: Ragnarok (2017). On television, Thompson 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 series Westworld (2016–present).
Thompson in July 2017
|Born||Tessa Lynn Thompson
October 3, 1983
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
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 Panamanian, while her mother is of Mexican and European descent. 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 TV 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 for the show's second season. 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 the fourth season 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 park 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 Scarlet. 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 in Justin Simien's Sundance winner 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 spin-off-sequel film Creed, and in Nate Ruess' short film The Grand Romantic. In April 2016, Thompson was cast as Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok, which was released on November 3, 2017. In June 2017, Thompson was cast in the science-fiction comedy film Sorry to Bother You. The film is set to be released in theaters on July 6, 2018.
|2006||When a Stranger Calls||Scarlet|
|2008||Make It Happen||Dana|
|Human Contract, TheThe 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 White|
|Grantham & Rose||Wallis|
|2016||War on Everyone||Jackie Hollis|
|2018||Sorry to Bother You||Detroit|
|Creed II||Bianca||Filming|
|2005||Cold Case||Wilhemina "Billie" Doucette||Episode: "Best Friends"|
|2005–2006||Veronica Mars||Jackie Cook||Regular role (12 episodes)|
|2006||Grey's Anatomy||Camille Travis||Episodes: "Deterioration of the Fight or Flight Response", "Losing My Religion",|
|2006||Initiation of Sarah, TheThe Initiation of Sarah||Esme||Movie|
|2007||Hidden Palms||Nikki Barnes||Main role (7 episodes)|
|2009||Mental||Lainey Jefferson||Episode: "Lines in the Sand"|
|2009||Private Practice||Zoe||Episodes: "Yours, Mine & Ours", "Strange Bedfellows"|
|2009||Heroes||Rebecca Taylor||"Hysterical Blindness", "Strange Attractors", "Shadowboxing"|
|2009||Three Rivers||Penelope Kirkell||Episode: "A Roll of the Dice"|
|2010||Blue Belle||Blue||Lead role (5 episodes)|
|2010–2011||Detroit 1-8-7||Lauren Washington||"Local Hero/Overboard", "Home Invasion/Drive-By", "Blackout"|
|2011||Off the Map||Sydney||Episode: "A Doctor Time Out"|
|2011||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)|
|2012–2013||Copper||Sara Freeman||Main role (19 episodes)|
|2016||BoJack Horseman||Tanisha (voice)||Episode: "Love And/Or Marriage"|
|2016–present||Westworld||Charlotte Hale||Main role|
|2018||Portlandia||Bailey||Episode: "Rose Route"|
|2018||Dear White People||Rikki Carter||2 Episodes|
This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. (April 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|2018||"Make Me Feel"||Janelle Monáe||Zen/Mary Apple 53|
|2018||"PYNK"||Janelle Monáe||Zen/Mary Apple 53|
|2018||Dirty Computer||Janelle Monáe||Zen/Mary Apple 53|
Awards and nominationsEdit
|2009||American Black Film Festival||Best Actor||Mississippi Damned||Won|||
|2011||Black Reel Awards||Best Breakthrough Performance||For Colored Girls||Won|||
|2014||Gotham Awards||Breakthrough Actor||Dear White People||Won|||
|2014||NAACP Image Awards||Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture||Dear White People||Nominated|||
|2014||Black Reel Awards||Best Actress||Dear White People||Nominated|||
|2015||African-American Film Critics Association||Best Supporting Actress||Creed||Won|||
|2016||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie Actress: Drama||Creed||Nominated|||
|NAACP Image Awards||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture||Creed||Nominated|||
|2018||BAFTAs||Rising Star||Thor: Ragnarok||Nominated|||
|Saturn Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Thor: Ragnarok||Pending|||
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie Actress: Sci-Fi||Thor: Ragnarok||Pending|||
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...a Panamanian father and half-Mexican, half-white mother.
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