Gugu Mbatha-Raw Nearing Her Breakout?

20th october 2019

As we near the end of 2019, it’s beginning to look as if Mbatha-Raw may finally be in for the kind of breakout some have been expecting since “San Junipero” – a series of roles that will earn her critical acclaim and establish her as more of a household name. November 1st will bring about the release of Motherless Brooklyn, a film that’s beginning to generate quite a lot of publicity. Developed by Edward Norton (for years, supposedly), it looks to be a late entry in awards season conversations.

The film concerns a private detective (played by Norton) dealing with Tourette’s syndrome, and has garnered some roller-coaster reviews from film festival critics – who almost don’t seem to know quite what to make of it. For her part, Mbatha-Raw plays an activist named Laura Rose who should be central to the story. Aside from A Wrinkle In Time, which played to a more specific audience, this is Mbatha-Raw’s biggest film role – and certainly her most prestigious – to date. On the same day that Motherless Brooklyn is released, Apple will also launch its first original television content.

And Mbatha-Raw has a role in the flagship program, called The Morning Show. We’ve been curious just what to expect from Apple’s original programming, which was kept under wraps to an astonishing degree for quite some time. Now, however, The Morning Show is generating some buzz. The UK’s free betting markets will, in fact, be posting some award show odds alongside their typical sports offerings before too long – and from what you can read around the internet, they may well show Jennifer Aniston in line for a Golden Globe for her performance on The Morning Show. Whether that’s a safe bet or not is unclear, but even the discussion speaks to a certain level of prestige for the show – which bodes well for Mbatha-Raw, particularly if it’s going to be a multi-season show.

These exciting November projects could land her in early-2020 award conversation. There are some whispers she could earn a Best Supporting Actress nomination at the Oscars for Motherless Brooklyn, and even being a supporting actress alongside Aniston will be huge for her career if in fact, Aniston is in the Golden Globe mix for The Morning Show. But these roles will also simply make Mbatha-Raw all the more familiar to audiences as she heads into 2020, when she has a few more exciting releases scheduled.

First, Mbatha-Raw will play the role of Jennifer Hosten, alongside Keira Knightley in the film Misbehaviour. It’s a dramedy inspired by true events surrounding the 1970 Miss World pageant, and will be directed by BAFTA winner Philippa Lowthorpe. Next, Mbatha-Raw will continue to play on her apparent affection for fairy tales (as evidenced by the aforementioned roles in Beauty And The Beast and A Wrinkle In Time) by performing in Come Away. This film has been described as a prequel to the tales of Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland, and stars Angelina Jolie and David Oyelowo. Mbatha-Raw – somewhat curiously given it’s meant to be a prequel – will play the part of Adult Alice.

Mbatha-Raw has a few more parts already in the works as well, but looking just at these announced releases for late 2019 and 2020, it does indeed look like a breakout is in the works. We’d certainly love to see it, because this Oxford-born actress has quietly been one of the best up-and-comers in the business for a few years now.