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At home I wear my own clothes, no makeup and don’t do anything exciting with my hair. I get to borrow pretty dresses for the red carpet and have experts do my hair and makeup.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

Because of my job, my hair gets played with a lot on set, so I try to give it little bit of breathing space when I’m not working.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

Corsets were a challenge in ‘Belle;’ fake nails tripped me up in ‘Blackbird.’ Guess I’m not a mani type of girl!

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

Different fragrances promote different emotions, and I find that fragrance gets me in the frame of mind for that person.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

Everyone says to you, ‘if you play Ophelia, you’ll end up crazy,’ but we’re all somewhere on the spectrum of mental health, and I think that if you approach it that way it’s not such an intimidating issue.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

From the age of four, I loved ballet and tap. I was in the school band, the choir, and all my school plays.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

I didn’t really grow up on hip-hop. Ella Fitzgerald and the old school jazz divas are more my comfort zone.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

I do a lot of yoga, and when I’m in L.A., I have an outdoorsy sort of lifestyle. It’s sort of comfortable, West Coast, yoga chic.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

I don’t really want to just play the girlfriend or the love interest. I get so many scripts like that, and – not to moan, because I’m really fortunate – but I just look at those scripts, and my heart sinks a little bit because I think there’s so much more to us than that.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

I just love performing so much, and I threw myself into every musical theater production that was going in my home town and at school. And then, I went to the National Youth Music Theatre, which was really a galvanizing experience for me when I was 17.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

I like being free to take on any project that inspires me and to trust that the work will speak for itself.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

I like the collarbone, a very clean collarbone. I think there’s something also very delicate and balletic about that part of a woman’s body, and I’m not really a cleavage person, but I do like a back or a shoulder; I think there’s something very alluring about backless dresses.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

I like to choose things that fit my body for sure; you learn to find the things that complement your shape.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

I played Dorothy in ‘The Wizard of Oz.’ That was my first role on stage.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

I see L.A. as a workplace rather than somewhere to live. If I don’t get out, I go crazy. If you have a little success, people treat you differently, so it’s good to keep a healthy perspective. It’s acting, not rocket science.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

I think there are parts of myself in every character I play.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

I try not to define myself. Other people are going to do that for you anyway.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

I was always the one leading the way in terms of wanting to do acting, singing and dancing. I was lucky that my mother had a very well-adjusted perspective of the world and never pressured me to do anything I didn’t want to do.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

I was so thrilled to be in ‘Doctor Who.’ It’s such a wonderful experience, and the fan base that that show has never fails to surprise me.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

I’m interested in playing lots of different complex women.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

I’ve always sung. I was really into musical theater when I was growing up. As a kid, I listened to Ella Fitzgerald and Nina Simone, actually, on cassette tapes.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

If you’re an artist, it’s great to have a knowledge of the business and be educated about that, but you’ve got to keep the balance right between business and artistry; otherwise, you get cynical.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

In 2009, I was living in London and getting work I enjoyed.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

In my own life, when I’m not working, I do wear a lot of black. I think I do feel very comfortable in black.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

Speaking as a mixed-race woman, there aren’t many historical stories about people like me.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

The ‘Pride and Prejudice’ with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle was something I watched on a weekly basis with my mum at home in Oxfordshire.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

The actors that inspire me are the comedians and the people able to shape-shift into different roles and into different media.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

This is going to sound really sad, but I didn’t really have any heartthrobs when I was growing up. I was a bit of a geek.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

When I was nine, ‘The Borrowers’ was such a big series for me!

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

When I’m not working, I’m really, really low key. I don’t wear makeup unless I have to; I don’t get my hair done unless I really need to.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

When you become a slave to a public persona and don’t feel comfortable without it, it becomes a shield, and it shouldn’t come at the expense of your self-worth.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

Simon Mawer
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