Tessa Lynn Thompson (born October 3, 1983) is an American actress. Her breakout role was in Tina Mabry's 2009 indie film Mississippi Damned. She gained further recognition for her starring roles as Nyla Adrose in the drama film For Colored Girls (2010), civil rights activist Diane Nash in the historical drama film Selma (2014), Bianca in the sports drama film Creed (2015), Valkyrie in the superhero film Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Josie Radek in the science fiction horror film Annihilation (2018), and Detroit in the science fiction comedy film Sorry to Bother You (2018). On television, Thompson has starred as Jackie Cook in the mystery drama Veronica Mars (2005–2006), Sara Freeman in the period crime drama Copper (2012–2013), and Charlotte Hale in the HBO science-fiction thriller Westworld (2016–present). Thompson was born on October 3, 1983, in Los Angeles, California. She was raised between Los Angeles and Brooklyn, New York. Her father, singer-songwriter Marc Anthony Thompson of the musical collective Chocolate Genius, Inc., is of Afro-Panamanian descent, while her mother is of Mexican and European ancestry. She attended Santa Monica High School and then Santa Monica College, where she studied cultural anthropology. With Sylvester Stallone and Michael B. Jordan promoting Creed in 2015 Thompson's first feature film appearance was in the 2006 remake of the horror film When a Stranger Calls playing the role of Scarlet. Thompson was next seen opposite Mary Elizabeth Winstead in the dancing film Make it Happen in 2008. In 2010, Thompson appeared in Tyler Perry's stage play adaptation For Colored Girls, after she directly approached Perry to be cast in the film. In 2014, she starred as Samantha White in Justin Simien's Sundance-winning comedy film Dear White People. That same year, Thompson played civil rights activist Diane Nash in Ava DuVernay's Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic Selma. In 2015, she appeared in Ryan Coogler's Rocky spin-off sequel film Creed, and in Nate Ruess' short film The Grand Romantic. In April 2016, Thompson was cast as Valkyrie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero film Thor: Ragnarok, which was released on November 3, 2017. She then appeared in the science fiction horror film Annihilation, which was released on February 23, 2018. In June 2017, Thompson was cast in the science fiction comedy film Sorry to Bother You, which was released on July 6, 2018. Thompson will next reprise her starring role as Bianca Porter in the sports drama sequel film Creed II, which is set for release on November 21, 2018. She will also have a starring role in the Men in Black spin-off film, MIB. The film, which reunites her with Thor: Ragnarok co-star Chris Hemsworth, is set for release on June 14, 2019.
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