Thandie Newton Plans To Expose Hollywood Sexual Abusers In A Memoir On Her Death Bed + Opens Up About Working With Tom Cruise & Eddie Murphy 

Thandie Newton Plans To Expose Hollywood Sexual Abusers In A Memoir On Her Death Bed + Opens Up About Working With Tom Cruise & Eddie Murphy

Actress Thandie Newton has been in the business for nearly 30 years of her life, and has seen and done it all. In a shockingly vulnerable interview, she revealed how sexual abuse has tainted her perception of Hollywood, colorism, and the awkward run-ins of working with big names such as Tom Cruise.

On colorism in the industry:

“I was perceived in so many different ways, and it was always about the individual who was perceiving. It was very much on the spectrum of ‘Is she Black enough,’ or ‘is she too Black?’ And the number of times I would put on a fake tan or take it down or up -…Like the Sally Hemings story, with that movie, she had to be super-pale. With Beloved, they wanted me to be a lot darker…Oprah, I think she was concerned about me being light-skinned.”

Being of mixed race, Thandie Newton says she didn’t feel beautiful compared to classmates:

“I was pretty young – 16 – was when I started working in movies. I had no sense of myself…I had this dance teacher,- ’cause ballet was my thing. I came from a very small town…Year after year, I was a star student. I’d always be given the solo to make the school look good. So at the end of every year, there’d be this big performance we’d all do in this dance school. The dance teacher — and I don’t mean her any ill, I’m not slagging her off, but it’s the truth — at the end of every year, she’d give prizes. She would give this ceramic ballet dancer, like a little kind of Oscar. It was screamingly obvious that I should have been given prizes. She never did. Not once…The last year I was in her school, I remember I didn’t get the prize, and my mom had obviously realized I wasn’t going to get it. We didn’t have much money, but when I got home, she had bought me this beautiful figurine of two dancers…We didn’t talk about it at the time, but the damage was so done. It just made me super-vulnerable to predators…Because there’s so much about not having a sense of my value. I suffered quite badly for a couple of years from anorexia, and it all feeds into this.”

Being stereotyped as a Black woman led her to turn down a role in the film, “Charlie’s Angels:”

“…the head of the studio — I had a meeting with her, and she said, ‘Look, I don’t mean to be politically incorrect, but the character as written and you playing the role, I just feel like we’ve got to make sure that it’s believable.’ I was like, ‘What do you mean? What changes would you have to make?’ She’s like, ‘Well, you know, the character, as written, she’s been to university and is educated.’ I’m like, ‘I’ve been to university. I went to Cambridge.’…She’s like, ‘Maybe there could be a scene where you’re in a bar and she gets up on a table and starts shaking her booty.’ She’s basically reeling off these stereotypes of how to be more convincing as a Black character. Everything she said, I was like, ‘Nah, I wouldn’t do that.’ She’s like, ‘Yeah, but you’re different. You’re different.’ That was Amy Pascal…Let’s face it: I didn’t do the movie as a result. Charlie’s Angels. It was a big deal for me.”

How being sexually abused by a movie director as a teenager changed her perception of Hollywood:

“It was like I had to give something back for being noticed. You get predators and sexual abusers, they can smell it a mile off. It’s like a shark smelling blood in the water. All you need is one of those to really drive you into the dust. In a way, an eating disorder was just like, ‘Okay, I need to finish myself off. I need to get fully rid of myself now.’ Unfortunately, that was while I was in an industry where a woman is utterly objectified. But a really key point, which began when I was like 21 and I met Eve Ensler…She was performing in a pub in Islington in North London. Afterward, I saw her as she came into the pub and we chatted. I found myself telling her my story about being sexually abused. She didn’t look at me with pity. For her, it was like, ‘And you’re here.’ It was the moment I turned from being a victim to a survivor. She just pointed out I was moving through it.”

Tom Cruise

Thandie Newton revealed a difficult experience while working with Tom Cruise prevented her from continuing in the Mission: Impossible franchise:

“I was so scared of Tom. He was a very dominant individual. He tries superhard to be a nice person. But the pressure. He takes on a lot. And I think he has this sense that only he can do everything as best as it can be done. There was one time, we were doing this night scene, there were so many extras with pyrotechnics and you name it, and it was a scene with him and me on the balcony. And I don’t think it was a very well-written scene…It wasn’t going well…So this scene was happening, and Tom was not happy with what I was doing because I had the sh*ttiest lines….And he gets so frustrated with having to try and explain that he goes, ‘Let me just — let’s just go do it. Let’s just rehearse on-camera.’ So we rehearsed and they recorded it, and then he goes, ‘I’ll be you. You be me.’…It just pushed me further into a place of terror and insecurity…He wasn’t horrible. It was just — he was really stressed.”

Eddie Murphy

On working with a noticeably absent Eddie Murphy on “Norbit:”

“The only movie my kids have seen that I’m in. They made me jump through hoops for it, too. ‘Can you really be funny?’…I remember when we first did it, the background to Eddie writing the script was that he found himself watching these online home movies where really large women, African-American women, would beat up their tiny husbands…Eddie found them hilarious…Eddie was hardly ever there, which was really sad. He has the best stand-ins you’ve ever seen. Literally, from five feet away, you would think they were Eddie. I think I probably did most of the movie with his stand-ins.”

Thandie Newton plans to out Hollywood’s sexual abusers in a memoir released when she’s on her death-bed:

“I’ve got my little black book, which will be published on my deathbed…I don’t want to deal with all the fallout and everyone getting their side of the story. There is no side of the story when you’re sexually abused. You give that up. I’m also a Black girl, and I absolutely [felt like I was] being passed around…Got to leave something behind, love. I’m not doing it when I’m alive.”

Written by Miata Shanay

Authored by: Miata Shanay