Thandiwe Newton Reclaims Spelling of Her Name, Reveals Correct Pronunciation

Taking it back. Thandiwe Newton, who has gone by Thandie Newton for nearly 30 years, just revealed her stage name was created by a misspelling in 1991.

While starring in Flirting alongside Nicole Kidman and Noah Taylor, the star, now 41, was incorrectly credited as Thandie Newton — and it stuck. In British Vogue‘s May cover story, the Westworld star revealed she’s now correcting the error and its pronunciation. The correct way to say her first name is tan-DEE-way.

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“That’s my name. It’s always been my name,” she said, explaining that Thandiwe means beloved in Shona, a language spoken in Zimbabwe. “I’m taking back what’s mine.”

Thandiwe Newton Reclaims Spelling of Her Name, Opens Up About Abuse at 16
Thandiwe Newton. Matt Baron/Shutterstock

The Solo: A Star Wars story actress also opened in the interview about her experience with the #MeToo movement, recounting the ways she’s taken her power back through the years. Newton has been open in the past about being a sexual abuse survivor — something a former publicist begged her to stop discussing. Ultimately, she let the rep go.

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“There’s a moment where the ghost of me changed, and it was then, it was 16. He derailed me from myself utterly. I was traumatized,” the Emmy winner recalled. “It was a kind of PTSD for sure. I was so distraught and appalled that a director had abused a young actress, and that it was happening elsewhere, minors getting abused and how f–ked up it was. I was basically waiting for someone to come along and say, ‘Well, what shall we do about this?’’’

Newton has opened up many times over the years about being a survivor and has spoken to her children about it as well. The star shares son Ripley, 20, and daughters, Nico, 16, and Booker, 7, with husband Ol Parker.

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Following the #MeToo movement, the Crash star and her costar Evan Rachel Wood came together to fight for equal pay as their male counterparts — which they finally received.

“It wasn’t a celebration. I was disgusted,” she explained to British Vogue, calling the money she now earns “compensation” for the turmoil she’s experienced throughout her career. “Even though people know they can speak out now, there is still the fear of losing their job. I mean literally, people still say, ‘There’s someone else who could take this position, if you’re not happy,’ that kind of s–t. I do think studio heads need to take much more responsibility.”

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