Underappreciated Actress of Color #39: Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Born in 1983 as Gugulethu Mbatha-Raw in Oxford, England, Gugu is a Zulu-British actress whom I'm going to be paying a LOT of attention to. She's mostly done TV work so far; you'll probably recognize her as "Tish Jones" - Martha Jones's sister - on Dr. Who.
Thanks to one of MCP's authors, I found out about her upcoming show Undercovers, which will co-star Boris Kodjoe and be helmed by JJ Abrams. I'm really crossing my fingers on this one, but I'm not holding my breath. If FlashForward taught us anything, it's that maybe white folks really should steer clear of writing and directing POC without the help of POC ( RIP Demetri and Zoey).
Undercovers will feature Gugu & Boris as the Bloom couple, who are a happy couple by day and bad-ass spies by night. It's going for the "romantic comedy" vibe, which also makes me fear for its health. I'm really hoping Abrams doesn't fuck this up. Shows like this are long overdue, and after the epic disaster that was FlashForward, TV owes us BIG.
(By the way, $20 says that after the series premiere, all the white girls who start drooling over Boris Kodjoe will start spewing hate for "that annoying black bitch with the weird name" and insist the two main characters "lack chemistry". Just you wait.)