GUGU MBATHA-Raw joins a host of inspirational women on the cover of Vanity Fair’s 2016 Hollywood issue.
Photographed by the renowned Annie Leibovitz, the British actress appears alongside all five of this year’s best-actress Oscar nominees—Jennifer Lawrence, Cate Blanchett, Saoirse Ronan, Brie Larson, and Charlotte Rampling— in addition to icons like Jane Fonda, Helen Mirren, Viola Davis, and Diane Keaton and Oscar winners Rachel Weisz and Lupita Nyong’o.
Gugu, short for Gugulethu, which is Zulu for “Our Pride,” has a lot to be proud of.
Born in Oxford, England, a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Gugu began her climb on popular series such as MI-5 and Doctor Who, achieving first-class status on the movie screen with starring roles in Belle, a drama set in the 18th century about the mixed-race daughter of an admiral in the Royal Navy and Beyond the Lights, a pop-music romance about a superstar for whom success is a gilded cage.
She also teamed with Will Smith in Concussion, the sports procedural and moral inquiry into the spate of brain injuries in the N.F.L. produced by heavy-impact helmet-to-helmet head butts and the league’s effort to look the other way.
The new issue of Vanity Fair is available on newsstands in New York and Los Angeles, and on the iPhone, Kindle, and other devices, on Thursday, February 4, and nationally on Monday, February 8.