Thursday, 27 November 2014

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Gugu Mbatha-Raw on Faith, Spirituality, and Finding Peace Through Nature

Gugu Mbatha-Raw on Faith, Spirituality, and Finding Peace Through Nature





Gugu Mbatha-Raw
PHOTO CREDIT: FRAZER HARRISON/BAFTA LA
On the heels of her critically-acclaimed portrayal of an illegitimate biracial girl born to an aristocratic family in Belle (2013), British actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw currently stars in the romantic drama, Beyond The Lights and is fast rising to become Hollywood's most exciting new talent. She recently spoke with ESSENCE.com about her spirituality, her faith, and how she relies on stillness and nature to keep her spirits up.
Do you consider yourself to be a spiritual person?
I would definitely say I am spiritual, you know. I was born and raised a Catholic and baptized at school. I am definitely a very spiritual person; I think you sort of have to be in life, and in this industry, and as a woman, and as an actress. I think it’s important to develop a strong sense of self, because there’s lots of things that can buffet you along the way in the industry, and in life in general.

How do you stay grounded?

I am a big yogi. I love my yoga, and I meditate. For me, that’s really important to stay grounded and I am trying to be more committed with the meditation. I love to spend time in nature. I’m a Taurus, like an earth person, and I’m from the countryside, so for me, whenever I am living and working in urban areas, like New York, or L.A., parts of L.A., it’s important for me to kind of just get outside and walk and hike in greenery and by the beach if I can.

When are you happiest?

I feel like I’m happy all the time! I am happiest with the simplest things: a cup of tea in the morning, and sitting outside and listening to the birds. I always get really happy when I see a hummingbird in L.A. I think that’s the best thing about L.A., to be honest.

Can you recall a recent moment when you were reminded to be grateful?

All the time, you know. I was at the Met Ball, this incredibly glamorous experience, you know, fancy dresses, and really, really decadent dinners, and beautiful, beautiful people everywhere, and really talented, famous actors and to me. It was like a Cinderella moment, because I’d never even been to a ball before, let alone one of that scale. So I was grateful to be [there].

Who has been your greatest teacher in life?

I guess my mom. I am an only child, and I am very close to my dad, but I did grow up in a single-parent household, so that’s quite an intense bond, mother-daughter relationship. I definitely sort of credit her with instilling me with confidence, and guiding me in life. 
Gugu Mbatha-Raw stars in Beyond the Lights, currently in theaters.

Photos: Gugu Mbatha-Raw arrives for The HFPA And InStyle Celebrate The 2015 Golden Globe Award Season

Gugu Mbatha-Raw arrives for The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) And InStyle Celebrate The 2015 Golden Globe Award Season - Arrivals at Fig & Olive Melrose Place on November 20, 2014 in West Hollywood, California.















Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Alesha Dixon, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Jade Ewen look stunning at UK premiere of Belle

Doesn’t she get a day off? Alesha Dixon shows off her super flat stomach as she dresses up again for UK premiere of Belle 

She is used to dressing up to the nines when she appears on Britain’s Got Talent every week.
But Alesha Dixon clearly doesn’t get bored of it as she proved when she attended the UK premiere of Belle on Thursday evening at the BFI Southbank.
The 35-year-old looked sensational as per usual wearing a long red skirt and a stomach baring black top.
Elegant: Alesha Dixon looked stunning as she arrived at the premiere of Belle at the BFI Southbank

Elegant: Alesha Dixon looked stunning as she arrived at the premiere of Belle at the BFI Southbank
While many would shy away from wearing red on the red carpet, Alesha clearly had no qualms which paid off as the skirt looked stunning.
    In keeping with her sleek look she wore her hair loose and straight falling down her back.
    The mother-of-one has had a busy week after attending the Glamour Women Of The Year Awards on Tuesday evening, where she presented an award alongside Amanda Holden. 
    Flat: Alesha revealed her incredibly flat abs in her skirt and top combination
    Flat: Alesha revealed her incredibly flat abs in her skirt and top combination

    Leading lady:  Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who plays Belle in the film, turned heads in her tiny black number
    Leading lady:  Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who plays Belle in the film, turned heads in her tiny black number
    Leading lady:  Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who plays Belle in the film, turned heads in her tiny black number 
    This weekend she will once again have to pull out all the stops as BGT live shows continue.
    Belle is British drama directed Amma Asante, which stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tom Wilkinson, Miranda Richardson, Penelope Wilton, Sam Reid, Matthew Goode, Emily Watson, Sarah Gadon, Tom Felton, and James Norton.
    The film is inspired by the 1779 painting of Dido Elizabeth Belle beside her cousin Lady Elizabeth Murray. 
    Commissioned by William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield, then Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, the portrait of his two nieces hung in England's Kenwood House, until 1922. Very little is known about Dido Belle's life in the Mansfield home. 
    What a babe: Jade Ewan showed off her toned legs in her short skirt
    What a babe: Jade Ewen showed off her toned legs in her short skirt
    Ethereal: Miranda Richardson who also stars in the film opted for a floaty gown
    Ethereal: Miranda Richardson who also stars in the film opted for a floaty gown
    The film centers on Dido's relationship with an aspiring young lawyer and is set at a time of legal significance as the potential ramifications of the Zong massacre become apparent. 
    Lord Mansfield's ruling on this infamous case, in England's Court of King's Bench, became an important step in bringing an end to slavery in England.
    The premiere was also attended by film’s leading lady Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who wowed in a short black dress.
    Former Sugababe Jade Ewan was also in attendance, wearing a patterned miniskirt and white cropped T-shirt. 
    Belle is due for release in the UK on June 13. 


    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2649909/Alesha-Dixon-shows-super-flat-stomach-dresses-UK-premiere-Belle.html#ixzz33nVnx5bg
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    Monday, 17 November 2014

    First Trailer & Poster For Lavish Slave Drama ‘Belle’ Starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw - Hollywoodnews October 2013

    With the likes of Tarantino’s DJANGO UNCHAINED and Steve McQueen’s 12 YEARS A SLAVE reminding us of America’s shameful history of slavery (albeit in very different ways), we’ve another effort on the way with BELLE. Rising British actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw leads in title role centred on the illegitimate, bi-racial daughter born of Royal Navy admiral Sir John Lindsay and his black mistress slave. The film explores how she fits into her Aristocratic ancestry, while being looked as an embarrassing shame.

    In late eighteenth century England, Dido Elizabeth Belle is born to a white British admiral and a black Caribbean slave. The admiral’s well-bred family is appalled, but when he returns to sea, custom dictates that they raise his child as an aristocrat. Britain’s imposing Lord Mansfield (Wilkinson) is both Dido’s uncle and the family patriarch, and instructs this bi-racial woman (Mbatha-Raw) to respect both the law and the social codes of her station. She is a lady, but she is an embarrassment. How is she ever to marry?
    We have the first trailer and poster from the Fox Searchlight film directed by Amma Asante from a screenplay written by Misan Sagay. The outstanding supporting cast includes Tom Wilkinson, Emily Watson, Penelope Wilton, Matthew Goode, Tom Felton, Sarah Gadon and Miranda Richardson.
    belle_xlg
    BELLE is released in the US 2nd May 2014




    More photos of the beautiful Gugu 

    Mbatha-Raw can be found by clicking here



    Belle Trailer 2013 Gugu, Tom Felton, Amma Asante 2014 Movie - Official [HD]



    Published on 17 Oct 2013
    Belle Trailer 2013 - Official 2014 movie trailer in HD 1080p - starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tom Wilkinson, Emily Watson, Sarah Gadon, Penelope Wilton, Miranda Richardson, Tom Felton, Sam Reid, Matthew Goode - directed by Amma Asante -The illegitimate, mixed-race daughter of a Captain in the Royal Navy finds her unique social standing become instrumental in the campaign to end slavery in England after meeting an idealistic young vicar's son.

    "Belle" movie hits theaters May 2, 2014.

    Belle is inspired by the true story of Dido Elizebeth Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), the illegitimate mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral. Raised by her aristocratic great-uncle Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson) and his wife (Emily Watson), Belle's lineage affords her certain privileges, yet the color of her skin prevents her from fully participating in the traditions of her social standing. Left to wonder if she will ever find love, Belle falls for an idealistic young vicar's son bent on change who, with her help, shapes Lord Mansfield's role as Lord Chief Justice to end slavery in England. Belle trailer 2014 is presented in full HD 1080p high resolution.

    BELLE 2014 Movie
    Genre: Drama, Romance
    Director: Amma Asante
    Starring: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tom Wilkinson, Emily Watson, Sarah Gadon, Penelope Wilton, Miranda Richardson, Tom Felton, Sam Reid, Matthew Goode
    Writers : Misan Sagay

    Belle official movie trailer courtesy Fox Searchlight Pictures. 



    Saturday, 15 November 2014

    'Beyond The Lights' Is Here For Bad Girls Gone Good - Vibe magazine

    'Beyond The Lights' Is Here For Bad Girls Gone Good

    VIBE Posted October 31, 2014
    Gugu and MGK VIBE cover sponsored
    SPONSORED CONTENT
    General consensus says you have to be bad to be great. Beyond the Lights(Relativity) is flipping that theory on its head and makes the good girl the victor. The message here: authenticity wins.
    While Gugu Mbatha-Raw's character (Noni Jean) goes Ri-Ri for max star power, she doesn't find inner peace until she literally does her. Who is she? Think Corinne Bailey Rae with a hit song about birds being free. Sounds like a bad afterschool special but its far from it. The accomplished UK actor, who studied at London's Academy of Dramatic Arts, takes enough champagne bottles to the head while dealing with a textbook stage mom and rapper boyfriend (MGK) to keep things interesting.
    Living her life on 10 she decides bringing it down to 0 (read: suicide) is a viable option to escape the fast life. A friendly neighborhood cop played by Nate Parker comes to her rescue. Who says the police are nowhere to be found when you need them.
    With the movie opening in a week (November 14), Gugu and MGK sat with VIBE to discuss their varying perspectives and experiences with music and film.

    'Beyond The Lights' Is Here For Bad Girls Gone Good (Pg. 2)

    Camille Augustin Posted November 4, 2014
    Gugu on a fence
    SPONSORED CONTENT

    Gugu Mbatha-Raw Talks Going Pop, Joining The Mile High Club For ‘Beyond The Lights’ And Huddling With Will Smith

    VIBE: In Beyond The Lights, you turn into a pop star. Which singers did you look to for inspirationt?
    Gugu Mbatha-Raw: Gina Prince-Bythewood gave me so many reference points, from contemporary artists such as Beyoncé and Rihanna to artists that you might not necessarily think of, like a young Lauryn Hill for Noni’s childhood persona and also artists as diverse as Adele. Prince and India.Arie and of course, Nina Simone.
    RIhanna and Beyonce, huh. Are you team Navy of Beyhive?
    No I’m not [laughs]. Probably my favorite Rihanna song is “Stay” and what would be my favorite Beyoncé song? She’s got so many great ones. I’m really enjoying “Pretty Hurts” from her latest album. I think it also correlates with some of the themes of Beyond The Lights as well.
    In the movie, your character Noni puts up a front and has to conform to industry expectations in order to sell records. Can you recall a time in your career where you had to play a role you didn't feel comfortable taking on?
    I’ve luckily never been in a situation where I’ve had to take on something that I 
    didn’t  feel uncomfortable with. Unlike my character, Noni, I didn’t get into acting as a child 
    in the same way and in the movie, she is very much manipulated in some ways by her 
    mother, [played by] Minnie Driver, so I’m very thankful that I have a great team around me. 
    I’ve been fortunate enough to choose the projects that I’ve been proud to be a part of.
    You also worked with Machine Gun Kelly. Did you know of his music before you met him? How was he as an actor? 
    No, I actually didn’t and he was so great to work with. In fact, we got to do that fake VIBE cover shoot in the movie, which was really fun. He is very charismatic and very talented, and it was his first acting role so I was really impressed with his commitment. It was great also because he really is in the music industry so he brought an authenticity to the role. For me, as an actress learning about the music world, he was very generous and great to work with from that point of view. Unfortunately, his character is a bit of a bad boy [laughs], but actually in person he’s a complete gentleman.

    ...because I had to listen to a lot of hip-hop music in preparation for the role, I’ve learned to appreciate it. This film introduced me to that style of music.

    Are you a fan of rap and hip hop?
    No, not really [laughs]. I wasn’t before I started this movie but I have to say that because I had to listen to a lot of hip-hop music in preparation for the role, I’ve learned to appreciate it. This film introduced me to that style of music. I listened to quite a bit of Jay Z. One of the songs that was just coming out when we were in pre-production was “Holy Grail,” which was also produced by The-Dream who wrote some of Noni’s songs so I listened to that quite a lot. I’m a big fan of Eminem as well.
    Director Gina Prince-Bythewood also directed Love & Basketball. What do you remember of that movie and were you and Nate Parker looking to capture the same magic?
    I haven’t seen that movie so I can’t really comment. Gina is very passionate to tell another love story but obviously, set in the music world. She did a beautiful job in creating the characters’ relationship and trying to make it believable and real.
    One moment that many women of color can appreciate was you taking off your weave and letting your natural, curly hair come out. What products do you use or salons do you visit to maintain the curls?
    I can’t remember the last time I went to the hair salon. I was fortunate to get my hair cut in a hotel room yesterday by Ted Gibson, who has been doing a wonderful job of doing my hair for the press tour. It’s been tricky, the schedule has been so hectic. I haven’t had a chance so Ted was able to cut my hair yesterday which was great.
    In real life, do you feel like you'd date Nate Parker's character or Machine Gun Kelly's?
    I don't know. I think the characters really work together in the movie because they both have something to offer each other. From Noni’s perspective, Kaz is very solid and she’s lived this somewhat artificial life surrounded by people that are kind of maintaining a false reality, so I don’t know if Kaz would be somebody I would date in real life. He seems like a decent guy.
    There's a scene where you and Kaz join the Mile High Club because he's never been on a plane. Was it awkward or uncomfortable in any way?
    It really wasn’t too terrible [laughs]. We’ve spent time talking about the scene and Gina was careful to make sure that we didn’t feel uncomfortable or awkward so it was actually a fun scene to shoot in the end.
    What's the craziest or wildest thing you have done for a significant other?
    Oh my God I don’t know [laughs]. I don’t really know.
    How fun was it watching Nate sing New Edition’s "Can You Stand The Rain"?
    He was so hilarious. That was a really fun day. To try and make my character look bashful, he had to dumb down his singing skills [but] Nate can really sing, that was the crazy thing. He really pulled off having to act like he wasn’t as good a singer as he actually is.
    Can we expect an album from you anytime soon?
    I don’t think so. I really loved working on the movie for this character, but the music in the film is something very expressive of Noni, not necessarily expressive of Gugu, [laugh]) which is great. That’s the thing I love about acting, you get to put on a role and I got to do all this research all about the music industry. But for me, I’m definitely an actress first so it was a great experience and great to be able to transform into that world but I think I’m going to focus on the acting for now.
    Do you have any future projects lined up?
    Yes, I just finished a movie called The Whole Truth, which is directed by Courtney Hunt and shot in New Orleans. It’s a courtroom drama [where] I play a defense attorney, very different from Beyond The Lights. It’s also starring Keanu Reeves and Renée Zellweger. In a few weeks, I’m about to start work on an untitled movie with Will Smith, which has a working title of Concussion, which is about brain injuries in the NFL.