Steffane Mauldin

Steffane Mauldin

Modified & Updated: 09 Sep 2023


Tessa Thompson is a remarkable actress who has made a name for herself in Hollywood with her impressive talent and captivating performances. From her breakout role in “Dear White People” to her unforgettable portrayal of Valkyrie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thompson has consistently proved herself as a force to be reckoned with on the big screen.

But there is so much more to Tessa Thompson than just her acting prowess. In this article, we will delve deeper into her life and career, uncovering 35 fascinating facts about this talented star. From her humble beginnings to her rise to stardom, there is no doubt that Tessa Thompson’s journey is one worth exploring. So, without further ado, let’s dive in and get to know this incredible actress a little better.

Table of Contents

Early Life and Education

Tessa Thompson was born on October 3, 1983, in Los Angeles, California. She comes from a mixed heritage, with her mother being of Mexican and Afro-Panamanian descent, and her father being of European and Afro-Caribbean descent. Thompson’s parents were involved in the entertainment industry, which sparked her interest in acting from a young age.

Acting Influences

Tessa Thompson draws inspiration from legendary actresses such as Diane Keaton, Cate Blanchett, and Jodie Foster. Their diverse filmography and transformative performances have shaped her approach to acting.

The Color Purple Connection

Thompson got her first taste of professional acting when she played the role of Celie in a youth production of “The Color Purple.” This experience solidified her passion for the craft and paved the way for her future career.

Educational Background

After graduating high school, Tessa Thompson attended Santa Monica College and later transferred to Santa Monica High School. She briefly studied cultural anthropology at Santa Monica College before deciding to fully pursue her acting career.

Breakthrough Role in “Dear White People”

Tessa Thompson gained widespread recognition for her role as Samantha White in the critically acclaimed film “Dear White People” (2014). Her powerful performance as the outspoken college activist garnered praise from both critics and audiences alike.

Multi-Talented Musician

In addition to her acting prowess, Tessa Thompson is also a talented musician. She has showcased her singing skills in films like “Creed” (2015) and “Sorry to Bother You” (2018), further highlighting her versatility as an artist.

Marvel Cinematic Universe Debut

Thompson made her debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Valkyrie in “Thor: Ragnarok” (2017). Her portrayal of the fierce warrior garnered immense praise and solidified her status as a superhero on the big screen.

Cultural Activism

Tessa Thompson is known for using her platform to advocate for important social issues. She has been actively involved in movements such as #TimesUp and has been vocal about the need for greater representation and diversity in the entertainment industry.

LGBTQ+ Advocate

Thompson has been a staunch advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. She openly identifies as queer and has been vocal about the importance of inclusivity and acceptance in society.

Collaboration with Janelle Monáe

Tessa Thompson collaborated with musician and actress Janelle Monáe on several projects, including Monáe’s music videos for “Pynk” and “Dirty Computer.” Their creative partnership has garnered widespread acclaim and highlighted their shared artistic vision.

Role in “Westworld”

Thompson portrayed the complex character Charlotte Hale in the hit HBO series “Westworld.” Her performance captivated viewers and showcased her ability to delve into intricate and morally ambiguous characters.

Stage Performance in “Julius Caesar”

Tessa Thompson showcased her theatrical talents in a production of William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” at the Public Theater in New York City. Her portrayal of the iconic character Portia received critical acclaim.

Voice Acting in “Lady and the Tramp”

Tessa Thompson lent her voice to the character of Lady in the live-action adaptation of Disney’s “Lady and the Tramp” (2019). Her portrayal captured the charm and innocence of the beloved animated character.

Fashion Icon

Tessa Thompson has made a name for herself as a fashion icon, often dazzling on the red carpet with her bold and eclectic style choices. Her fashion sense is characterized by a fearless and unique approach to dressing.

Role in the “Men in Black” Franchise

Thompson joined forces with Chris Hemsworth in the science fiction action-comedy film “Men in Black: International” (2019). Her portrayal of Agent M showcased her ability to tackle action-packed roles with finesse.

Collaboration with Taika Waititi

Thompson reunited with “Thor: Ragnarok” director Taika Waititi in the critically acclaimed film “Jojo Rabbit” (2019). Her performance as the fierce and compassionate character Rosie earned her widespread acclaim.

Environmental Activism

Tessa Thompson is an ardent environmental advocate. She has been involved with organizations such as Greenpeace and has used her platform to raise awareness about climate change and the importance of sustainability.

Role in the “Creed” Films

Thompson portrayed the strong-willed Bianca Taylor in the “Creed” films, starring opposite Michael B. Jordan. Her performance added depth and emotional complexity to the character, earning her critical acclaim.

Collaboration with Boots Riley

Tessa Thompson collaborated with director Boots Riley in the film “Sorry to Bother You” (2018), where she showcased her range as an actress through her portrayal of the character Detroit.

Advocate for Mental Health

Thompson has been a vocal advocate for mental health awareness. She has spoken openly about her own experiences with anxiety and has encouraged open conversations surrounding mental well-being.

Role in the “Avengers” Films

Tessa Thompson reprised her role as Valkyrie in the “Avengers” films, including “Avengers: Endgame” (2019). Her character played a pivotal role in the fight against Thanos and demonstrated her strength and leadership abilities.

Diverse Filmography

Thompson has showcased her versatility through a wide range of film genres, including dramas, comedies, action films, and sci-fi adventures. Her diverse filmography speaks to her ability to tackle various roles with depth and authenticity.

Collaboration with Ryan Coogler

Tessa Thompson collaborated with director Ryan Coogler on multiple projects, including “Creed” and “Black Panther.” Their partnership has resulted in memorable and impactful performances that have resonated with audiences.

Dedication to Craft

Tessa Thompson is known for her dedication to her craft. She dives deep into her roles, often immersing herself in extensive research and preparation to bring her characters to life on screen.

Role in “Selma”

Thompson portrayed civil rights activist Diane Nash in the acclaimed film “Selma” (2014). Her performance showcased her ability to portray real-life figures with grace and authenticity.

Collaboration with Sylvie’s Love

Tessa Thompson collaborated with writer and director Eugene Ashe on the film “Sylvie’s Love” (2020). Her performance as the ambitious and talented musician Sylvie garnered praise for its emotional depth.

Embracing Flaws and Imperfections

Thompson embraces her flaws and imperfections, promoting self-acceptance and body positivity. Her advocacy encourages others to embrace their uniqueness and love themselves as they are.

Versatility in Voice Acting

Tessa Thompson has lent her voice to various animated characters in films such as “Thor: Ragnarok” and “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part.” Her range and versatility as a voice actress are evident in her performances.

Role in the “Veronica Mars” Revival

Thompson joined the cast of the “Veronica Mars” revival series, reprising her role as Jackie Cook. Her return to the beloved show excited fans and demonstrated her commitment to her earlier projects.

Collaborations with Indie Filmmakers

Thompson has collaborated with indie filmmakers, often seeking out projects that push boundaries and challenge societal norms. Her choices highlight her commitment to supporting independent voices in the industry.

Recognition in the Entertainment Industry

Tessa Thompson has been recognized for her talent and contributions to the entertainment industry. She has received nominations for prestigious awards such as the Critics’ Choice Movie Award and the NAACP Image Award.

Charitable Endeavors

Thompson is involved in various charitable endeavors, supporting organizations such as Time’s Up, the ACLU, and the Trevor Project. Her philanthropic efforts further showcase her commitment to making a positive impact.

Future Projects

Tessa Thompson has several exciting projects lined up, including the highly anticipated Marvel film “Thor: Love and Thunder,” where she will reprise her role as Valkyrie. Fans can look forward to her continued contributions to the entertainment world.

Collaborations with Female Filmmakers

Thompson actively seeks out collaborations with female filmmakers, recognizing the importance of amplifying women’s voices in the industry. Her commitment to inclusivity and gender equality shines through her choice of projects.

Rising Star

Tessa Thompson’s star continues to rise in Hollywood, and her talent, dedication, and passion for her craft have solidified her as one of the industry’s most promising actresses. With each new role, she showcases her versatility and adds depth to the characters she portrays.

There you have it – 35 fascinating facts about Tessa Thompson! From her remarkable performances to her advocacy for social issues, Thompson’s impact in the entertainment industry extends far beyond her on-screen talent. As she continues to captivate audiences with her exceptional skills, we can’t wait to see what the future holds for this talented actress.


In conclusion, Tessa Thompson is a multi-talented actress who has made a significant impact on the entertainment industry. From her breakthrough role in the indie film “Dear White People” to her powerful performances in major blockbusters like “Thor: Ragnarok” and “Men in Black: International,” Thompson has proven her versatility and talent as an actor.

Not only is she a gifted performer, but Thompson is also an advocate for equality and diversity in Hollywood. Through her outspokenness and involvement in various social causes, she has become a role model for many aspiring actors and activists.

With her impressive filmography and captivating performances, Tessa Thompson continues to captivate audiences and push boundaries in the world of entertainment. Her talent, passion, and dedication to her craft make her a force to be reckoned with in the industry.


Q: How did Tessa Thompson get her start in acting?

A: Tessa Thompson began her acting career in her teens, appearing in theater productions and student films. She gained wider recognition for her role in the indie film “Dear White People” in 2014.

Q: What are some of Tessa Thompson’s notable roles?

A: Some of Tessa Thompson’s notable roles include Valkyrie in “Thor: Ragnarok,” Bianca in the “Creed” films, and Agent M in “Men in Black: International.”

Q: Is Tessa Thompson involved in any social causes?

A: Yes, Tessa Thompson is an advocate for equality and representation in Hollywood. She has been vocal about the need for more diverse and inclusive storytelling.

Q: Has Tessa Thompson won any awards for her performances?

A: Yes, Tessa Thompson has received several awards and nominations throughout her career. She won the Gotham Independent Film Award for Breakthrough Actor for her role in “Dear White People.”

Q: What is Tessa Thompson’s upcoming project?

A: One of Tessa Thompson’s upcoming projects is the highly anticipated film “Thor: Love and Thunder,” where she will reprise her role as Valkyrie.