Tessa Thompson, born October 3, 1983, is an American actress who currently stars as Charlotte Hale on HBO’s Westworld. Before Westworld, she played Jackie Cook on the television series Veronica Mars, Sara Freeman in the period crime drama Copper, Nyla Adrose in the film For Colored Girls, civil rights activist Diane Nash in Selma, Samantha White in Dear White People, and Bianca in Creed. She currently stars as Charlotte Hale on the HBO series Westworld. She is one of the most sought after young actresses working today.
Thompson was born in Los Angeles, California. Her father is singer Marc Anthony Thompson of the band Chocolate Genius, Inc. Thompson is of Panamanian descent and her mother is of Mexican and European descent, which explains her totally exotic look. She grew up in Los Angeles while spending summers and winters in New York, and attended Santa Monica High School and then Santa Monica College, where she studied cultural anthropology.
In 2002, Thompson made her professional stage debut in Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company’s production of The Tempest. Thompson made her first TV appearance in a 2005 episode of the CBS series Cold Case in the role of a bootlegging lesbian from the 1930s. Thompson’s first feature film appearance was in the 2006 remake of the horror film When a Stranger Calls playing the role of Scarlet. She has since gone on to star in Creed, as well as Westworld and the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok.
With a role in the biggest show on television, as well as a major Marvel movie, Thompson’s stock will continue to be on the rise.