Gugu Mbatha-Raw Stuns on Modern Luxury’s Angeleno Cover, Dishes on Concussion, Her Immigrant Roots

Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Gugu Mbatha-Raw glows on the December cover of Modern Luxury's Angeleno  Mike Marsland/WireImage

A Cinderella moment! Gugu Mbatha-Raw stunned in a new shoot for the December issue of Modern Luxury's Angeleno magazine, in which she dons gowns by Chanel and Carolina Herrera.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Gugu Mbatha-Raw on the cover of Modern Luxery Gavin Bond

"I got to wear my first Chanel dress — I’ve never even tried on any Chanel before," the Brit, 32, tells the magazine. "And the Carolina Herrera dress I wore had a demure quality to it that made me feel like Audrey Hepburn."

Opening up about her role in Concussion, the actress admits she felt an almost instant connection with her character Prema, a Nigerian immigrant whose husband (Will Smith) sheds light on how the NFL turns a blind eye to head traumas. 

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

"They’re two foreigners in America, but [they] somehow bring a perspective that was not numbed by the culture," she says. "There was a freshness to the way that they saw life and the culture here. I relate to that in some ways, in terms of not having grown up with American football in my consciousness.”

On a mission of self-discovery, Mbatha-Raw recently explored her paternal roots and made her first visit to South Africa.

“I always knew that I couldn’t knock it out as a quick little holiday. I knew that it would cost something of me, and I needed to give it time,” she admits. “I was like, wow, I’m doing all of these projects that are thematically about identity—maybe that’s a little indicator that that’s something I need to look at."

Fear also inspired the trip. Adds the star, "I got mugged in L.A., and it made me think of what I was really afraid of. And I realized I was afraid of going to South Africa and really exploring my identity on a deeper level.”

For more about Gugu Mbatha-Raw, pick up a copy of Modern Luxury’s Angeleno.

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