ByBrooke Geller, writer at
Awkward nerd, aspiring shieldmaiden and friend to all doggos.
Brooke Geller

You may know her from her recent appearance in HBO's epic sci-fi Westworld; the controversial, satirical comedy film Dear White People; or perhaps even her upcoming role as Marvel's Valkyrie in . But no matter where you've seen Tessa Thompson, there's no doubt that you're just as fascinated with this talented actor as the rest of the world.

Thompson's as down-to-earth as she is spirited; an incredibly driven individual with an impressive list of achievements to her name. If you just can't get enough of , check out these fascinating facts about the equally fascinating actor:

1. She's An Activist

A self-proclaimed "female agitator," Thompson is incredibly passionate about the causes she believes in. She's a loud-and-proud feminist, and is known for taking on acting roles that celebrate diversity and address racial issues.

2. She Dressed Up As Prince For Halloween

She even posted on her Instagram that she's the "ultimate fangirl"!

3. She Didn't Always Want To Be An Actor

In fact, she originally studied cultural anthropology at college and had plans to run off and join the Peace Corps after graduation.

4. She's Half Panamanian And Half Mexican/European

Her father is Panamanian, and her mother is half Mexican. Thompson told Yahoo! that her mixed ethnicity helped her to relate to her character in Dear White People.

5. Her First On-Screen Part Was A Gay Poet

Cold Case [Credit: CBS]
Cold Case [Credit: CBS]

Breaking out of her theatre background in her first foray into television, Thompson starred in an episode of Cold Case called 'Best Friends.' Her character was a lesbian and a poet in the 1930s, who had a forbidden romance with another woman; a taboo affair that led to her tragic murder.

6. She's A Musician

Thompson's musical background should come as no surprise — her father is Marc Anthony Thompson of Chocolate Genius, Inc. She helped create tunes for Dear White People alongside her electro soul band Caught A Ghost, and also played a singer in Creed.

7. She Was In A Music Video

[Credit: Wondaland Records]
[Credit: Wondaland Records]

Thompson's not just a singer— she can dance, too. She had a cameo in the music video for 'Yoga', a song by her pals Janelle Monáe and Jidenna. Talk about a triple threat!

8. She Got Totally Naked For Her Love Scene In 'Creed'

Creed [Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]
Creed [Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]

It may have only had a PG-13 rating, but you'd better believe Thompson and her co-star Michael B. Jordan were wearing nothing but their birthday suits for their love scene in the critically acclaimed Creed.

9. She's Incredibly Dedicated To Her Roles

Not only did she get her gear off for her sex scene in Creed, but she completely moved state to research the role. Thompson established herself in Philadelphia prior to filming in order to fully immerse herself in the Philly culture.

10. She First Cut Her Teeth With Shakespeare

Before making the move to screen, Thompson was learning the ropes on stage. She starred in a number of Shakespeare plays, making her debut with the Los Angeles Women's Shakespeare Company.

11. She Grew Up Between LA & Brooklyn

According to an interview with Buzzfeed, Thompson spent her childhood between both Brooklyn with her father, and LA, where her mother and sister lived.

12. She's A Thrift Queen

There's no denying that Tessa Thompson's style is on point. She revealed to Refinery29 that much of her wardrobe consists of vintage threads, though nowadays she's a little more selective over what she'll buy:

"I don’t wear fur unless it’s vintage, and I'll buy leather, fur, and suede. Then, really beautiful silks and cottons — vintage laces and cotton are the holy grail of vintage, but they’re so delicate that you have to really find them in good condition, otherwise they’re just relics that you can have around but not really wear."

13. She Used To Make A TV Show About Hunting Lizards With Her Dad

Here's one Tessa Thompson show you might have a hard time tracking down: Lizard Hunters. Thompson told The Hollywood Reporter that she and her father would traipse the hills of LA together when she was a child, searching for lizards and filming their exploits.

14. She Does A Lot Of Solo Travel

Thompson told GQ that not only does she travel often, but she also travels alone. She started out with a two week trip to Paris, and later embarked on a two-month solo journey through India.

15. Her Tattoo Has Deep Meaning

You might have spotted a tiny line of script inked on Thompson's right wrist, spelling out the simple phrase "yes." In an interview with Buzzfeed, Thompson revealed it was a souvenir to commemorate the end of an entire year of learning to say "no" more often:

"I was re-engaging with the word 'yes'. I came to really love the word."

Check out Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok:

(Source: Yahoo!, Buzzfeed, Refinery29, The Hollywood Reporter, GQ, Buzzfeed)


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