Wunmi Mosaku made it big in the U.S. after starring as Ruby Baptiste in HBO’s “Lovecraft Country.”
The actress sat down for an interview with ESSENCE, where she opened up about her career and her refusal to conform to Hollywood’s beauty norms.
“I definitely feel like 2017 was probably the first time I had the courage to say, ‘This isn’t right for me.’ Or, ‘This isn’t the direction I want to go in.’ I don’t have to just take everything that is given to me. I have a little bit of autonomy by saying no. It’s an ebb and flow. Sometimes we feel so powerless,” she told the publication. Sometimes we feel so appreciated. It’s really hard. I think it can change from day to day, feeling valued and undervalued. I don’t think there’s an ‘I just feel valued now’ moment. That’s not the case.”
After her success on the HBO series (which was renewed for a second season,) Mosaku went on to star in the Netflix horror flick, “His House,” a tale of immigration in Britain with a chilling twist. Her newest role is as Hunter B-15, a member of the Time Variance Authority, the Marvel Cinematic Universe series, “Loki.”
However, being in the spotlight, there will always be pressure to conform to Hollywood’s (and the western world’s) beauty standards, but the Nigerian-born, British-raised actress says she will not bend.
And why should she? The 35-year-old star is stunning.
“The pressure is always so high for women,” she said to ESSENCE. “I feel blessed that I look like me. I’ve always had to love myself, through everyone else’s expectations, because there’s nothing that I could do to fit into their ideal. I’m not going to hurt myself. I’m not going to belittle myself. I know who I am and where I come from, and my people are beautiful. I’m not going to do anything but honor that.”
She also confessed that at times, slipping into her costumes for her roles can be uncomfortable and that she hates wearing a weave.
“Everything changes. The way you walk, the way you hold yourself, the way you sit. Your character doesn’t necessarily wear things that you think are beautiful or comfortable. Your hairstyle on set bleeds into your everyday life. If I’m wearing a weave, I hate that, because I feel like my own clothes don’t go with a weave. My clothes go with my afro, or maybe cornrows.”