HBO’s Westworld star Thandie Newton said she is changing her first name back to its original “Thandiwe.” But in announcing the change, the British actress mixed up the ethnicity of her own name, initially saying “Thandiwe” is of Shona origin and then correcting herself to say it is actually Zulu.
Thandie Newton made the revelation in British Vogue, later adding on Twitter that her name was misspelled “Thandie” on her first movie and stayed that way for the rest of her career. The filmmakers borrowed her real name “Thandiwe” for the character she played.
“They stole my name. And I’m taking it back,” she tweeted.
The director of my first film asked to use my actual name for the character – because it was authentic and beautiful. I felt flattered and agreed. And then in the credits they used my ‘nickname’ to differentiate from the character name.