Thandiwe Newton Shares the Powerful Reason She's "Taking Back" the Correct Spelling of Her Name

Cydney Contreras
·3 min read
Thandiwe Newton Shares the Powerful Reason She's "Taking Back" the Correct Spelling of Her Name

Since the start of her career, Thandiwe Newton has been known simply as Thandie, and that's all because of one typo.

The cover star of Vogue's May issue reveals that from this point forward, she would like to be known as Thandiwe, the name given to her by her parents. She tells the fashion magazine, "That's my name. It's always been my name. I'm taking back what's mine."

According to the Westworld actress, the "w" in her name was left out on her first movie credit. Rather than correct the typo, she adopted the moniker as her stage name.

Going back to her birth name is just one of the ways Thandiwe is taking ownership of her life and her career. The 48-year-old actress tells Vogue she's "not for hire anymore," because she feels she wasn't being true to herself in past roles.

"Wherever I position myself now, I don't want to be part of the problem, I want to be part of the solution," she explains. "I'm not going to speak your story or say your words if I don't feel they could've come from me."

Thandie Newton's Cutest Family Moments

Thandiwe adds that she used to view acting as an escape, describing how "delighted" she was to have "an excuse to go off to another personality." She reflects, "I couldn't wait to get away from myself, truly, I had such low self-esteem. Acting was where I felt whole."

Thandie Newton, 2019 Golden Globe Awards, After Party
Thandie Newton, 2019 Golden Globe Awards, After Party

Whereas now, the mother of three feels "more connected to myself than I've ever been."

On the other hand, The Interview with a Vampire actress says she's always had a "seventh sense for abuse and abusers," adding, "which I believe is one of the reasons why I was rejected a lot in Hollywood."

Nonetheless, she speaks freely about her experiences with other Hollywood movers and shakers, including former Mission Impossible 2 co-star Tom Cruise. Last July, she shared that she was "so scared" of the lead actor, saying, "He was a very dominant individual. He tries superhard to be a nice person. But the pressure. He takes on a lot. And I think he has this sense that only he can do everything as best as it can be done."

She described one scene in particular, recalling how Tom kept pushing her to deliver the "s--ttiest lines" in the "most unhelpful" way. In the end, she says, "It just pushed me further into a place of terror and insecurity. It was a real shame."

A month later, Thandiwe revealed she had anticipated criticism for her comments, but the opposite happened. "I was surprised by the appreciation I had got. I thought that I would be in trouble because that's kind of what I'm used to," she admitted.

Now, the star is helping her 16-year-old daughter, Nico Parker, navigate the movie industry. She tells Vogue that she "went to every photoshoot" with the teen to watch over her, adding, "I didn't give a f--k what anyone thought."