‘Westworld’ Star Thandie Newton Reveals True Spelling of Her Name But Mixes Up Its Ethnicity

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Thandie Newton reacts after being named winner of the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series award for 'Westworld' during the 70th Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

HBO’s Westworld star Thandie Newton said she is changing her first name back to its original “Thandiwe.” But in announcing the change, the British actress mixed up the ethnicity of her own name, initially saying “Thandiwe” is of Shona origin and then correcting herself to say it is actually Zulu.

Thandie Newton made the revelation in British Vogue, later adding on Twitter that her name was misspelled “Thandie” on her first movie and stayed that way for the rest of her career. The filmmakers borrowed her real name “Thandiwe” for the character she played.

“They stole my name. And I’m taking it back,” she tweeted.

The Emmy-winning star told the magazine that “Thandiwe” — meaning “Beloved” — is from the Bantu language of the Shona people of Zimbabwe. But she then corrected herself in a subsequent tweet, saying the name comes from the Zulu nationality.

“Sincerest apologies from me, for error in @BritishVogue. My name ‘Thandiwe’ is Zulu, my Mother’s tribe is Shona. That’s what happens when you’re separated from your identity for so long, that you forget who you are,” she tweeted.

Though Newton didn’t say, her first film was the 1991 Australian feature Flirting, in which she is credited as “Thandie Newton.” The character she played was named “Thandiwe Adjewa.”

Newton rose to international fame in the 90s in a number of independent films before hitting it big ironically by playing the title character in the 1998 movie Beloved, adapted from the Toni Morrison novel. She also starred opposite Tom Cruise in Mission: Imposssible II in 2000

Follow David Ng on Twitter @HeyItsDavidNg. Have a tip? Contact me at dng@breitbart.com.


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