Wunmi Mosaku

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Wunmi Mosaku
Wunmi Mosaku.jpg
Mosaku at The Old Vic, 2010
Born
Oluwunmi Mosaku

1986 (age 34–35)[1]
Nigeria
NationalityBritish
Alma materRoyal Academy of Dramatic Art (2007)
OccupationActress
Years active2006–present

Wunmi Mosaku (born 1986) is a Nigerian-born British actress.[2] She is known for her roles as Joy in the BBC Two miniseries Moses Jones (2009) and Holly Lawson in the ITV series Vera (2011–12). She won the 2017 BAFTA TV Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Gloria Taylor in the TV film Damilola, Our Loved Boy (2016). In 2019, she starred in the fifth series of Luther.[3] In 2020, she starred as Ruby Baptiste in HBO's Lovecraft Country.

She was nominated for the BAFTA for Best Actress and also won the 2020 British Independent Film Awards for Best Actress for her role as in Rial in the film His House.[4]

Early life[edit]

Mosaku was born in Nigeria, and subsequently emigrated to Manchester, England, when she was one year old. She attended Trinity Church of England High School and Xaverian Sixth Form College. She also sang for eleven years in the Manchester Girls Choir. Her parents were both professors in Nigeria but were unable to do the same jobs in the UK. Her mother started a business and her father ended up returning to Nigeria.[3]

Career[edit]

Mosaku graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 2007 and made her stage debut at the Arcola Theatre in a production of Pedro Calderón de la Barca's The Great Theatre of the World. Since then she has also appeared in Rough Crossings, directed by Rupert Goold and based on the book by Simon Schama, at the Lyric Hammersmith; The Vertical Hour by David Hare and Truth and Reconciliation, both at the Royal Court Theatre; and Mules at the Young Vic. In 2009, she appeared in Katrina, a verbatim play which told six people's stories of their struggles of survival when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans August 2005. Mosaku was originally cast as Sophie in the UK premiere of Ruined by Lynn Nottage at the Almeida Theatre but had to pull out due to an injury.

In 2008, she appeared in the first of the UNDEREXPOSED exhibitions at the National Portrait Gallery, designed to raise the profile of black role models and celebrates the talent that exists among the Black British community. Her photo also appeared on Commercial Way, Peckham, London, as part of the exhibition. In 2009, she starred in the BBC Two series Moses Jones, for which she won Best Actress in a Miniseries at the Roma Fiction Festival.

She featured on the front cover of Screen International magazine June–July 2009 as one of the UK Stars of Tomorrow, and in 2011 was featured in Nylon Magazine's 2011 Young Hollywood issue.

In 2010, Wunmi Mosaku was named one of The Seven Fresh Faces of Toronto International Film Festival, for I Am Slave,[5] in which she starred. She plays Malia, a girl who has been kidnapped from her village in Sudan, and sold into slavery. For her performance Mosaku won awards such as Best Actress at the Birmingham Black Film Festival, Best Onscreen performance at the Cultural Diversity Awards and Best Female performance at the Screen Nation Awards. In 2011, Mosaku joined the cast of Vera, playing the role of Holly Lawson, but left the show after just one year.

In 2015, Mosaku played the part of Quentina, a traffic warden, in the three-part BBC series Capital based on John Lanchester's novel of the same name.[6] In 2016, she appeared in Playtest, an episode of the anthology series Black Mirror.

Mosaku won the 2017 BAFTA TV Award for Best Supporting Actress for playing Gloria Taylor in the TV film Damilola, Our Loved Boy.

Personal life[edit]

When asked to list her personal heroes, Mosaku included her grandmother Anike Adisa, whom she described as having "taught me so many lessons"; actor Albert Finney who was her inspiration for attending the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art; her colleague and former instructor at RADA, William Gaskill; Paul Newman, who she admired, not just for his acting, but also for his philanthropic efforts with Newman's Own; and Oprah Winfrey, who Mosaku considers "a superwoman."[7]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Film Role Director Notes
2006 The Women of Troy Helen of Troy Phil Hawkins
2010 Honeymooner Seema Col Spector
Womb Erica Benedek Fliegauf
I Am Slave Malia Gabriel Range
2011 Citadel Marie Ciaran Foy
2013 Philomena Young nun Stephen Frears
2016 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Kahina Ziri Zack Snyder
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Beryl David Yates
2018 Leading Lady Parts Herself Jessica Swale Short film
2019 Sweetness in the Belly Amina Zeresenay Berhane Mehari
2020 His House Rial Remi Weekes
TBA Call Jane Gwen Phyllis Nagy Filming

Television[edit]

Year Show Role Notes
2007 Sold Firefighter Episode #1.5
2008 Never Better Server Episode: "First Week Euphoria"
Doctors Nurse Kelly Strathairn Episode: "Who Do You Think You Are Kidding?"
The Bill Sophie Oduya Episode: "Trial and Error: Part 1"
2009 Moses Jones Joy Miniseries
2010 Silent Witness Charlie Gibbs 4 episodes
One Night in Emergency Beautiful Nurse Television film
Father & Son Stacey Cox Miniseries
Law & Order: UK Tamika Vincent Episode: "Survivor"
2011 Vera DC Holly Lawson 5 episodes
32 Brinkburn Street Joy
The Body Farm Rosa Gilbert Miniseries
Stolen Sonia Carney Television film
2013 Dancing on the Edge Carla Miniseries
Jo Angélique Alassane
Truckers Danielle Episode #1.3
2014 In the Flesh Maxine Martin 6 episodes
2015 Don't Take My Baby Belinda Television film
Capital Quentina Miniseries
2016 Black Mirror Katie Episode: "Playtest"
Damilola, Our Loved Boy Gloria Taylor Miniseries
2017 Fearless DCS Olivia Greenwood
The End of the F***ing World DC Teri Darego 5 episodes
2018 Kiri DI Vanessa Mercer Miniseries
2019 Luther DS Catherine Halliday 4 episodes
Animal Babies: First Year on Earth Narrator Docuseries
Temple Mercy King Miniseries
2020 Lovecraft Country Ruby Baptiste 10 episodes
2021 Loki Hunter B-15 6 episodes

Radio[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
2017 British Academy Television Award Best Supporting Actress Damilola, Our Loved Boy Won [8]
2021 British Academy Film Award Best Actress in a Leading Role His House Pending [9]
British Independent Film Award Best Performance by an Actress Won [10]
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Lovecraft Country Nominated [11]
Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Nominated [12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Wunmi Mosaku. (1986-), Stage and screen actress". National Portrait Gallery. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  2. ^ "TEN MINUTES WITH... WUNMI MOSAKU". Arise Live. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  3. ^ a b Wise, Louis (23 December 2018). "Wunmi Mosaku interview: Idris Elba's new Luther sidekick on how she got into acting by watching Annie". The Times. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  4. ^ Wade, Joseph (18 February 2021). "2020 British Independent Film Awards – Winners List". Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  5. ^ Peter J. Thompson. "I AM SLAVE'S WUNMI MOSAKU ON BEING MENDE NAZER". Nigeria Films. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
  6. ^ "BBC One: Capital". BBC Online. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
  7. ^ "Wunmi Mosaku: my heroes and heroines". The Telegraph. United Kingdom. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
  8. ^ "Bafta TV awards 2017: full list of winners". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  9. ^ Ritman, Alex. "BAFTA Nominations: 'Nomadland,' 'Rocks' Lead Charge in Most Diverse List in Awards' History". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  10. ^ "Winners and Nominations". BIFA. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  11. ^ "NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCED FOR THE 27TH ANNUAL SCREEN ACTORS GUILD AWARDS". Screen Actors Guild Awards. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  12. ^ "SERIES NOMINATIONS FOR THE 26TH ANNUAL CRITICS CHOICE AWARDS". Retrieved 10 March 2021.

External links[edit]