Gugu Mbatha-Raw Poster

Quotes (29)

  • I try not to limit myself. The actors that inspire me are the comedians and the people able to shape-shift into different roles and into different media. That ensures your longevity as an artist and prevents you from getting bored with yourself and, hopefully, prevents people from getting bored with you.
  • [on the significance of her role in Belle (2013)] As a biracial girl growing up in England, I'd never really seen any historical characters who looked like me depicted on film before that weren't being brutalized or playing slaves.
  • I always get a little bit scared reading reviews.
  • I think, irrespective of your race, everybody has moments in life where they don't fit in, or where they try to puzzle through who they really are or to find the courage of their convictions.
  • [on cooking] I don't really have one dish. I'm a very improvisational cook. I sort of like to make things up as I go along. I'm quite creative in the kitchen.
  • I like being free to take on any project that inspires me and to trust that the work will speak for itself.
  • I was lucky that my mother had a very well-adjusted perspective of the world, and never pressured me to do anything I didn't want to do.
  • I try to put myself into whatever character I play. As an actress, I'm an emotional person.
  • I was always the one leading the way in terms of wanting to do acting, singing and dancing.
  • I think there are parts of myself in every character I play.
  • Because of my job, my hair gets played with a lot on set, so I try to give it little bit of breathing space when I'm not working.
  • [on her rather unorthodox method of getting into character] Different fragrances promote different emotions, and I find that fragrance gets me in the frame of mind for that person.
  • But when you become a slave to a public persona and don't feel comfortable without it, it becomes a shield and it shouldn't come at the expense of your self-worth.
  • I try not to define myself. Other people are going to do that for you anyway.
  • Don't worry about society's conditioning and the labels that are put on you by external forces. Hold onto your true self.
  • It is important to be conscious of the message that you're putting out there. It takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get a movie to the screen. I do feel a certain element of responsibility to say something worth saying with it, as well as entertainment.
  • [on whether she agrees with Hollywood's penchant for remakes] I enjoy classics, but classics are classics for a reason.
  • For me, after emotionally intense roles, I'd need to take a step back because then there's the promoting of the film which is another job in itself.
  • From the age of four, I loved ballet and tap. I was in the school band, the choir, and all my school plays.
  • I'm interested in playing lots of different complex women.
  • [on being directed by Courtney Hunt in The Whole Truth (2016)] For me, it was all about working with an inspirational filmmaker.
  • [on playing Noni Jean in Beyond the Lights (2014)] It's not often that you get a chance in one role to do the glamour bit and then strip off all the makeup and reveal the real person beneath the facade. Usually, it's either a glamorous role or a raw, emotional role.
  • Because I had grown up with Jane Austen novels and period dramas, I was very familiar with that period and that world.
  • At home, I wear my own clothes, no makeup and don't do anything exciting with my hair. I get to borrow pretty dresses for the red carpet, and have experts do my hair and makeup.
  • [on the series Undercovers (2010)]: It was my first job in the States, and so I had really nothing to compare it to. The whole experience of doing a network show was a relatively whirlwind experience for me, and I'm fantastically grateful to J.J. Abrams and NBC for that great opportunity. And I learned a lot from doing it. But again, like Touch (2012), everything happens for a reason and I think it had its life and it was time to move on. I've made my peace with that and, as I say, I'm grateful for the experience. No regrets.
  • This job is such a gift-to be able to make people laugh, to uplift them, to raise questions and debates, and to have the gift of being able to inspire people or create a safe place for people to heal in a cathartic way. It's a real privilege to be able to tell stories because I think that's how we evolve as a culture.
  • [on one of her favorite ways to unwind] I had an epiphany about seven years ago, when I was working on a TV show in-of all places-Bath, England. After 12 hours of filming in the cold, I needed to warm up and relax, so I tried out the tub in my room and found that I was instantly able to soak the day away. Now I like to create my own spa whenever I travel: I light scented candles, pour in bath salts, turn on plinky-plonky music, and unwind.
  • [on being her own life coach] When I'm facing a hectic schedule, I tell myself, "Come on, Gugs." Sometimes you have to be your own coach.
  • [on insisting that her hair be left in its natural state on screen whenever possible] I'm not afraid to have those tough conversations with directors about how I represent myself. Hair, for instance, sounds like a superficial conversation. But images remain in our subconscious. So when it comes to representing on screen, I can use my hair to send the important message to girls everywhere that they can be who they are.