The "Westworld" Emmy Award winner formerly credited as Thandie Newton will appear on-screen going forward as Thandiwe Newton, based on her birth name, Melanie Thandiwe Newton.
"That's my name. It's always been my name. I'm taking back what's mine," Newton, 48, says in the new issue of Vogue's British edition, where writer Diana Evans states that "the W was carelessly missed out from her first credit." Newton played a character named Thandiwe — spelled correctly — in her screen debut, "Flirting" (1991), opposite Nicole Kidman and Noah Taylor. The article gave no explanation for the discrepancy or why the credit was not corrected in subsequent work.
"Thandiwe," pronounced "tan-DEE-way" according to the BBC, is from the Shona language of Zimbabwe's Shona people. Newton was born in London but spent most of her first three years in her mother's native Zimbabwe. Her father is English, and Newton was raised primarily in the town of Penzance, in the English county of Cornwall, where the family settled.
Online translation websites give the name's English meaning as "loved," though many media outlets give it as "beloved."
On Instagram Sunday, Newton — whose work includes the films "Mission: Impossible II" (2000), "Crash" (2004) and "Solo: A Star Wars Story" (2018) and a recurring role on NBC's "ER" — said of interviewer Evans, "She has helped restore something very important — even beyond my name. Thank you Diana. From the bottom of my heart."
Newton, in the new interview, also expands on her previous revelation that "Flirting" filmmaker John Duigan, then 39, had had a sexual relationship with her from the time she was 16 until she was 20. "In retrospect," she had told InStyle magazine in 2011 — according to numerous excerpts from the article, which is not online — "although it was legal [in the U.K.] because I was 16, I was coerced." Duigan does not appear to have publicly commented over the last decade.
"There's a moment where the ghost of me changed, you know," the actress, a longtime advocate for women in the entertainment industry, says in the new interview, "and it was then, it was [when I was] 16. He derailed me from myself utterly. I was traumatized. It was a kind of PTSD for sure. … I was basically waiting for someone to come along and say, 'Well, what shall we do about this?' ''