Tessa Thompson looks back on some of her iconic characters

Terence Patrick 2023 CBS Broadcasting

Tessa Thompson‘s range has been displayed as she’s taken on a variety of characters. In the latest issue of Look Back At It, she reflects on some of her iconic roles, including Nyla in For Colored Girls, Diane in Selma and, of course, Bianca in the Creed series.

When Tessa portrayed Nyla, she worked with an “incredible ensemble” featuring Janet Jackson, Whoopi Goldberg, Kerry Washington, Loretta Devine and Thandiwe Newton. It was her “first time working with an all-female cast in terms of the leads.” “It was incredible to be on set with women who defined my idea of Black femininity at every turn,” she says, noting her love for Janet, Ntozake Shange‘s book and Phylicia Rashad.

Selma‘s Diane impacted Tessa’s life, as it “really challenged me to think about how I show up in these moments now as a Black American.” She says the “film was such an honor to work on” and notes she made some lifelong friendships while shooting the movie.

As for Bianca, fans have gotten pretty familiar with the character, as she’s appeared in three Creedmovies. Tessa says “there’s been so much personal growth” in the film’s characters, adding, “They’re postcards to me because I see my own growth inside of the span of these nine years.” She notes she’s “incredibly proud to be part of” Michael B. Jordan‘s journey.

Tessa also discusses being in Thor: Ragnarok, which she believes is connected to Creed.

“I never ever thought that I would occupy these kinds of spaces or be in big superhero movies,” she says. “But in connecting the dots, I know that Dear White People put me on Ryan Coogler’s radar and I know that Creed put me on Marvel’s radar because all of us joined the MCU.”

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