Who is Sophie Okonedo?
Sophie is a British actress, known for her versatile performances in film, on television and in theater. She gained widespread recognition playing Tatiana Rusesabagina in the film “Hotel Rwanda” (2004), and additionally has received critical acclaim for her stage work, including her Tony Award-winning performance in “A Raisin in the Sun”. She is also a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), an honor she received for her contribution to the theater.
Sophie Okonedo has been attached to the upcoming Ryan Murphy series, Ratched due out in September. Her previous roles include Hotel Rwanda and After Earth.
Her character’s name is Charlotte Wells. pic.twitter.com/wlauWRn8np
— What’s on Netflix (@whatonnetflix) May 28, 2020
What Happened to Sophie Okonedo?
Okonedo is still active as an actress, and is now working on several projects, including the action drama film “Heart of Stone”, starring Gal Gadot, Jing Lusi and Jamie Dornan, scheduled to premiere later in 2023.
Sophie Okonedo Wiki: Age, Childhood, and Education
Sophie Okonedo was born on 11 August 1968 in London, England. Her mother, Joan Allman was Jewish, and a Pilates teacher from the East End of London, and her father, Henry Okonedo, was a British Nigerian who worked for the government. Sophie’s maternal grandparents hailed from Poland and Russia and spoke Yiddish, and she was brought up in her mother’s Jewish faith. Okonedo grew up in the Chalkhill Estate, located in the Wembley Park district of the London Borough of Brent. For her education, Sophie attended the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).
Sophie Okonedo began her acting career in the early 1990s, making her film debut in the 1991 “Young Soul Rebels”, in which she portrayed Tracy. Directed by Isaac Julien, the film explored themes of race, sexuality and music against the backdrop of the 1970s punk scene in London. In 1993, she appeared in the TV movie “Age of Treason” as Niobe, which set in 15th-century England, delved into the political and social turmoil of the era.
Two years later, Sophie appeared in the film “Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls” as the Wachati Princess. The film is a comedy sequel to “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” and follows the eccentric animal detective, Ace Ventura, played by Jim Carrey, as he is hired to find a sacred white bat that was stolen from the Wachati tribe of Africa.
The same year, Sophie portrayed Moira Levitt in the TV series “The Governor”. The show, which ran for six episodes, and follows the story of Helen Hewitt, played by Janet McTeer, a newly appointed governor of a high-security men’s prison. The following year, Okonedo appeared in the TV series “Staying Alive” as Kelly Booth, the show consisted of 12 episodes and revolved around a group of friends and colleagues working at a health club called The Paradise.
Rise to Prominence
The early 2000s proved to be a turning point in Sophie’s career. After a few years with minor roles, Sophie secured the lead role in the two-part drama “Sweet Revenge” (2001), co-starring Paul McGann and Pam Ferris. She was next cast in the film “Dirty Pretty Things” in 2002, after which she secured her most famous role.
In 2004, Okonedo received critical acclaim and international recognition for her role as Tatiana Rusesabagina in the film “Hotel Rwanda”, co-starring Don Cheadle, who played her husband, Paul Rusesabagina. Her powerful portrayal of the wife of a hotel manager during the Rwandan genocide earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. The film shed light on the devastating events that unfolded in Rwanda, and Okonedo’s performance brought out her remarkable talent and ability to bring depth and emotional complexity to her characters.
Continuing her success, in 2006, Okonedo had the opportunity to join the popular science fiction series “Doctor Who”, portraying Liz Ten, also known as Queen Elizabeth X, in the episodes “The Beast Below” and “The Pandorica Opens”, sharing the screen with the charismatic actor Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor. The same year, Okonedo received a nomination for a Golden Globe Award for her work in the miniseries “Tsunami: The Aftermath”. This gripping drama explored the devastating aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and co-starred a talented ensemble cast, including Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tim Roth, and Toni Collette.
After her mid-2000s successes, Sophie Okonedo continued to make waves in her career, delivering captivating performances alongside notable co-stars. In 2007, Okonedo took on the role of Nancy in the television adaptation of Charles Dickens’s classic novel, “Oliver Twist”, sharing the screen with actors such as William Miller, Tom Hardy, and Timothy Spall, who added depth and complexity to the tale of the young orphan navigating the challenging streets of London.
The following year, Okonedo featured as May Boatwright in the film adaptation of “The Secret Life of Bees”, starring alongside such stars as Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, and Dakota Fanning. The story revolves around a young girl seeking solace and belonging in 1960s South Carolina, finding it amidst the Boatwright sisters’ beekeeping sanctuary.
In 2009, Okonedo portrayed the real-life figure Sandra Laing in the film “Skin”. Acting alongside Sam Neill and Alice Krige, Okonedo delivered a powerful performance as Sandra, a woman born to white parents during apartheid in South Africa, challenging racial classification and societal prejudice.
Continuing to tackle significant roles, Okonedo played Winnie Mandela in the BBC drama “Mrs Mandela” in 2010. Collaborating with David Harewood and David Morrissey, Okonedo delved into the complexities of the prominent anti-apartheid activist’s life, dealing with the challenges and triumphs of Winnie Mandela’s journey.
In 2016, Okonedo was cast as Queen Margaret in the second season of the BBC’s “The Hollow Crown”. Collaborating with Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Sturridge, and Hugh Bonneville, Okonedo brought her regal presence to the adaptation of Shakespeare’s historical plays, portraying the political intrigues and struggles for power surrounding Queen Margaret.
In 2017, Okonedo performed the role of Stevie in the West End revival of Edward Albee’s play “The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?” Acting opposite Damian Lewis, Okonedo’s powerful performance explored the complexities of love, betrayal, and societal taboos.
Then in 2021, Okonedo portrayed Siuan Sanche in the television series “The Wheel of Time”. Collaborating with Rosamund Pike, Daniel Henney, and Madeleine Madden, Okonedo’s performance brought the beloved fantasy character to life, captivating audiences with her role in a world on the brink of chaos.
To speak further of her accomplishments, she was Salome Otterbourne in the film “Death of the Nile” (2022), and was seen as Ingrid Tearney in the TV series “Slow Horses”.
Career in Theater
In addition to her poised on-screen career, she has achieved significant success in theater. In 2014, Okonedo gained recognition for her portrayal of Ruth Younger in the Broadway revival of “A Raisin in the Sun”; sharing the stage with Denzel Washington, Anika Noni Rose and LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Okonedo’s performance brought depth and authenticity to the iconic play, depicting the dreams, aspirations, and racial tensions of an African-American family in 1950s Chicago. The production took place at the Ethel Barrymore Theater in New York City and garnered critical acclaim, earning Okonedo a Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play.
Continuing her theater success, Okonedo took on the role of Elizabeth Proctor in Arthur Miller’s timeless classic, “The Crucible”, in 2016. The production, held at the Walter Kerr Theater in New York City, delves into the Salem witch trials of the late 17th century and the hysteria that engulfed the community, co-starring alongside Saoirse Ronan, Ben Whishaw, and Ciarán Hinds.
In 2017, Okonedo starred in Edward Albee’s provocative play “The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?”, at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in London. She played the role of Stevie Gray, exploring the complex themes of love, betrayal, and societal taboos. Her performance received critical acclaim for its emotional depth and nuance.
The following year, Okonedo took on the iconic role of Cleopatra in William Shakespeare’s “Antony and Cleopatra” at the Royal National Theatre in London. Her portrayal of the legendary queen showcased her ability to embody a powerful and complex character from classical literature.
Most recently, she’s received high praise starring as the titular character in the play “Medea” by Euripides at @sohoplace in London, UK. The tragic play explores themes of revenge, passion, and the unraveling of a woman’s psyche.
According to authoritative sources, Sophie Okonedo’s net worth is estimated at $5 million, as of mid-2023.
Personal Life, Dating, Married, Husband, Children
Sophie Okonedo has never married, and has a daughter from her romance with Irish film editor Eoin Martin. She resides in Muswell Hill, London.
Appearance and Body Measurements
Sophie Okonedo has black hair and brown eyes. She stands at a height of 5ft 8ins (1.73m), weighs approximately 125lbs (57kgs), with vital statistics of 34-28-32, and bra size 34C.