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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

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

“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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.