If, like me, you have been playing the video of Chadwick Boseman surprising Black Panther fans on loop, you’re grieving. And if you’re in India like me, where prime-time news has become a joke with anchors dissecting the life — and death — of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, you know the importance actors can have in and on our lives. That’s why today’s Daily Dose is all about the actors you need to know, with some up-and-comers and hidden legends — and even a few things you probably didn’t know about Boseman. Because in embodying others, these giants of the stage and screen hold up a mirror to ourselves.
— Pallabi Munsi, reporter
global rising stars
1. Korean Queen
Park So-dam might have been just one character in a movie studded with brilliant performances, but Parasite’s uber-cool “Jessica” — with her jingles and clicking fingers — could be the next queen of Korean cinema. The 28-year-old got hooked on acting after watching Grease in high school, despite being rejected 17 times before landing her first role. And now, watch her in the smaller film Fukuoka, an art-house flick that displays the importance of communication through three different characters.
Who’s the real Tatiana Maslany? Best known for her five-season run on Orphan Black, where she plays the lead character, Sarah Manning, as well as Sarah’s cohort of more than a dozen clones, Maslany had to be distinctly different. How does she do that? “There’s an internal rhythm of a character,” says the 34-year-old Canadian actor. Keep an eye out for her later this week on The Carlos Watson Show, where she goes deep on Orphan Black, the strange sexual energy of playing a nun on HBO’s Perry Mason and the existential crisis of the pandemic. Subscribe to OZY’s YouTube page to be notified when episodes drop.
Jessica Barden, 28, broke out with the dark Netflix comedy series The End of the F***ing World, about a pair of lovers who commit a crime and then go on the run from the law. Now she’s starring in the film Pink Skies Ahead, in which the British sensation plays a girl battling anxiety — not unlike her own struggles with mental health and adult acne.
4. Mexican Magic
Actor and singer Diego Boneta has the charm and looks of a young Tom Cruise and holds citizenship in three countries: Mexico (his birthplace), the U.S. and Spain. The son of engineers, Boneta — the family “black sheep,” he says — left school in fifth grade to act in telenovelas. Watch him play Grammy Award–winning Mexican singer Luis Miguel in the eponymous Netflix miniseries. In 2021, you can catch him in the video game adaptation Monster Hunter.
No matter where in the world you are, moving can be a challenge — especially now. In OZY’s exclusive new video series in partnership with American Family Insurance, follow along with the ups and downs of one woman’s socially distanced search for shelter. Where will she end up?
By age 17, he was leading a gang of criminals. At 21, he was arrested on charges of kidnapping, extortion and murder. After nine years, the dark-skinned, heavyset, bearded Nigel Akkara stepped out of prison in the eastern Indian metropolis of Kolkata — and became an actor. Now he offers a new lease on life to many like him.
Sheila Atim never planned to join the movie business. The 29-year-old, born in Uganda and raised in the U.K., has a degree in biomedical science, but acting was always her passion. Picked as a rising star by the Toronto Film Festival this month, Atim is brilliant in The Pale Horse, the latest Agatha Christie adaptation. Next, you’ll see her in Bruised, where she trains Halle Berry, playing a washed-up female MMA fighter, to battle her way to redemption.
3. Try Once More
His first film, romance drama Kaiyethum Doorath, was a flop. So South Indian actor Fahadh Faasil went to the U.S. to study engineering. But he didn’t give up the dream, and his second go at acting proved more fruitful, with impressive performances in films such as Kumbalangi Night. Now you can watch this 38-year-old in CU Soon, a thriller shot during India’s lockdown and released today on Amazon Prime. The media-shy actor is full of self-doubt, saying, “I’m here because I’ve nowhere else to go.”
4. Broadway Boy
Anthony Ramos nearly gave up on a career in showbiz before catching his big break as part of the original Broadway cast of Hamilton, playing the dual roles of John Laurens and Philip Hamilton. Since then, Ramos has appeared in A Star Is Born and snagged a starring role as Usnavi in the film adaptation of In the Heights, another Lin-Manuel Miranda musical. In between he’s found time to write his own songs, using the pandemic lockdown to slow down and hone his next album ahead of its release next year.
When we say these Pantone sneakers from Cariuma sell out in hours, we’re not exaggerating. They’re comfortable, sustainably made and oh so stylish. OZY readers have the chance now to order their pair. Get $15 off now using code OZYxCariuma.
You know Boseman, the Black Panther star whose death on Friday from colon cancer shocked the world, for his acting prowess. But did you know he was also a writer? In fact, he wrote his first play, Crossroads, in high school after a teammate on his basketball team was murdered. “I just had a feeling that this was something that was calling to me,” he says, “Suddenly, playing basketball wasn’t as important.”
2. The Star’s Mentor
Phylicia Rashad, best known for playing Clair Huxtable on The Cosby Show, was one of Boseman’s acting teachers at Howard University — and helped nudge him out of the director’s chair. "The way she taught acting opened up things for me. I would have to take acting classes, but it was purely as a director to know what the actors were doing. But when she taught it, it became something where I was like, ‘I want to experience that. I want to know, really, what that feels like,’” he told the Hollywood Reporter in 2014.
3. Man of Faith
Boseman was an outspoken Christian who quit an early six-figure job with a soap opera because he felt the character played too much on Black stereotypes. “Sometimes you need to feel the pain and sting of defeat to activate the real passion and purpose that God predestined inside of you,” he told students at Howard when recounting the tale.
fan of ozy confidential?
Share your love of our edgiest podcast, OZY Confidential, with one of these quality print posters that come in various sizes and can turn any room into a statement. Buy now from the OZY Store!
the death shaking india
1. Sudden and Shocking
He was the beloved boy next door. Coming from small-town India and becoming first a successful soap star and later a Bollywood superstar, actor Sushant Singh Rajput taught young Indians — especially those not from major cities — to dream without restraint. So his death, reportedly by suicide, in June at age 34 was the death of a dream for many across a country already ravaged by the pandemic and mass migration from the cities back to the countryside owing to economic dislocation.
Are you looking to increase your daily dose of OZY, even outside your inbox? Follow us on Twitter to voice your opinion in our polls on current issues: What would you tell your 10-year-old self? Would universal basic income save capitalism or destroy it? Are violence and bloodshed inevitable parts of social change?Check it out now.
By the time King Kong came out in 1933, Noble Johnson had been acting for almost 20 years, often cast as a native chief, a Native American or in other character roles that typified Hollywood’s racist attitudes. But over the years, Johnson formed the first African American film company, and by acting in so many films, he became the first star of Black cinema.
Jeff Goldblum may not be as big a name as Brad Pitt, but he has been around since the ’70s, building a motion-picture menagerie of galvanizers and brainy eccentrics. Sure, he’s always more or less a version of himself, but that doesn’t mean the world can ever get enough of him.
Bollywood star Shashi Kapoor made his Hollywood debut in The Householder, a film about a young marriage rescued from imminent collapse. Today, it’s common for Bollywood stars to be featured in English-language movies and TV shows. But they’re all following in Kapoor’s footsteps.
Ramón Novarro knew his ethnicity was ambiguous to white American audiences and he used that to his advantage, even as he grappled with squaring his race with Hollywood’s idea of an icon. He was fiercely proud of being Mexican, often correcting news outlets that misreported him as Spanish. And in the process, he took Hollywood by storm, becoming one of the first big Mexican movie stars.
With a literature degree from Delhi University and a postgraduate degree in sociology from India’s prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University, Swara Bhasker took a long time to overcome the culture shock she experienced when she moved from India’s capital to Mumbai to become an actor. Today, she leads a double life — that of a Bollywood celebrity and a vocal liberal speaking out against the conservative Indian government’s policies. It means a daily war with internet trolls, whom she skewers with enthusiasm.
David Oyelowo leaped to superstardom with his seminal performance as Martin Luther King Jr. in 2014's Selma — but the mastery of his craft has been decades in the making. Don’t miss him in this episode of The Carlos Watson Show talking about the rise of Nigerians in Hollywood and beyond, what MLK would make of 2020 and the lessons he’s learned from his interracial marriage.
Born in the Peckham district in south London to parents of Nigerian descent, John Boyega got his first acting role as a leopard in a grade-school play. Hollywood came calling and the world came to know Boyega as Finn, a stormtrooper, in 2015’s The Force Awakens. But these days, he believes it’s vital to stand up for Black lives before anything else. “Look, I don’t know if I’m going to have a career after this, but fuck that,” he said at a Hyde Park rally following George Floyd’s death.
Soon after Boseman’s death, Lázaro Ramos spoke out about the importance of airing Black Panther for free across Brazil — and by Monday it was being shown on TV Globo. King T'Challa, the Black Brazilian star said, was “a superhero that we needed to see and carry in our hearts." The son of a maid and a chemical plant worker from the northeastern state of Bahia, Ramos joined a theater troupe as a teenager to overcome his debilitating shyness. And in the last few years, as one of Brazil’s biggest film and TV stars, he’s been using his celebrity status to push the country’s most powerful media company to change how Black Brazilian stories are told.