EXCLUSIVE: Tessa Thompson Is Armani Beauty’s Newest Face

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PARIS — Tessa Thompson is Armani beauty’s newest face.

The American actress will feature in campaigns this year for the brand’s signature Luminous Silk Foundation and new Lip Power lipstick, which were lensed by photographer Mikael Jansson.

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“My idea of beauty applies to every woman as it enhances her personality and uniqueness,” said Giorgio Armani. “Tessa Thompson struck me with the radiant energy she exudes, the vibrant calmness of her way of being. I am delighted to be able to work with her and express a new facet of the feminine kaleidoscope of Armani beauty.”

Los Angeles-born Thompson has balanced blockbusters like “Westworld” and “Creed” with indies such as “Sorry to Bother You” and “Little Woods.” Her breakout film role was “Dear White People” in 2014, swiftly followed by “Selma.”

She’s played Valkyrie in the Marvel movie “Thor: Ragnarok,” and Thompson will appear as that character again in “Thor: Love and Thunder,” due out later this year.

Her résumé is as long as it is expansive, including parts such as Irene Redfield in “Passing,” released on Netflix in November 2021.

She fronted Time magazine as the Leader of the Next Generation three years ago.

While in Atlanta, filming “Creed III” this week, Thompson talked about her newest role, at Armani beauty, which is licensed to L’Oréal.

Her love of makeup goes way back, sparked in part by watching her two grandmothers, who were afficionados.

“Then I came to really start to work with different artists, and Armani was the consistent brand that people would use — I think, primarily, because of their variety of shades,” she said.

Thompson sported Armani beauty on her first big red carpet, and the first time she had makeup professionally done the artist used Luminous Silk. “That feels really special to me, because it’s been so foundational — no pun intended,” she said, with a laugh.

Thompson continued wearing Armani makeup while acting in many roles. “There were so many products that I used in my life, too, and so now being a new face of Armani feels really surreal to me,” she said.

Thompson explained: “I really love the idea that makeup can accentuate what exists in you — that it’s not something that you use to cover up who you are, but really to feel like the best version of yourself.

“I’m really instinctual in terms of how makeup feels,” she continued, adding color cosmetics “should be an extension of yourself, but also a place where you can be expansive and play.”

While acting, makeup has a different role. Thompson said: “It’s about: ‘How do I really shift my own instincts to match what might be right for the character?’ If it’s a film like ‘Sylvie’s Love,’ for example, we’re playing inside of period. So it’s thinking about what were women doing in ’53 or ’67?” she continued.

Thompson didn’t feel like Valkyrie “until we found this really messed-up, smoky eye.”

As Charlotte Hale in “Westworld” for several years, she exclusively wore Armani foundation — and during this past season, a lot of Armani clothing, as well.

On set for the Armani makeup ads, Thompson had fun playing with Lip Power’s bold shades. “We found in shooting the campaign that every color had sort of a character unto herself,” she explained, adding the light pink was “sort of demure or flirtatious,” while the red was “strong and even masculine.”

One year ago, Thompson launched her own production company, Viva Maude, and began producing book adaptions for TV, such as: “The Secret Lives of Church Ladies” and “Who Fears Death.”

“I’m a huge book lover,” she said, calling herself “genre-agnostic.” “I was well before the quarantine, but certainly [during] the couple years of pandemic really so many books were my friends. And now it feels like such an exquisite honor that some of those friends I’m getting to shepherd into the narrative world.”

Thompson increasingly is drawn to acting and directing projects focused on the inner lives of women.

“Certainly, ‘Passing’ for me was such a big milestone in my career, getting to look at the interior lives of these two women of color,” she said. “That has a special place in my heart.”

Thompson explained she would like her work to reflect “that we as women, we as Black women, whoever we are, are not a monolith — that we’re really varied. I hope the work I put out as a producer really speaks to that.”

For more, see:

Nicole Kidman Turns to Armani Privé for ‘Being the Ricardos’ Premiere

C.P. Company Draws the Curtain on 50th Anniversary With Emporio Armani Collab

Giorgio Armani Group Partners With La Scala Theater on Opening Night

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