Published on November 13th, 2010 | by thevyne


Woman to Watch: Tessa Thompson

Born: October 3 in Los Angeles, CA

Occupation: Actress in television and film for approximately five years. Currently starring in the Tyler Perry film, “For Colored Girls.”

Back in the Day: Tessa was “discovered” as a child walking down Hollywood Blvd. with her father. She made her stage debut in a fifth-grade play, starring as a tap-dancing wolf, opposite fellow television/film actress Amber Tamblyn.

Career Journey: Tessa’s first Shakespeare performance was as Juliet in “Romeo and Juliet.” Subsequent to that performance she caught the Shakespeare bug and appeared in “The Tempest” and “Twelfth Night,” as well as “Summertime,” “Grease” and “Guys and Dolls.” She was also the lead in “Indoor/Outdoor” at The Colony Theater in Burbank, California.

Tessa gained more notoriety when she landed a reoccurring role on “Veronica Mars.” She has also guest starred on “Grey’s Anatomy”,”Cold Case” and appeared in the television movie “The Initiation of Sarah.”

Tessa’s feature films credits include “Everyday People,” “When a Stranger Calls” and “He Got Game,” with Denzel Washington.

For Colored Girls: Tessa can currently be seen on the big screen as Nyla/Purple in the Tyler Perry film “For Colored Girls.” Tessa turns in a powerful performance amidst the star-studded cast. In a recent Essence article, Tessa had this to say about how she landed her coveted role:

I heard they were going to adapt it into a film and Tyler Perry was at the helm. I called my agent right away and said, ‘Is there any way we can do this?’ and he said, “It’s been cast already.” I think then Tyler was still in talks with people of note, and so it went away for a while. Then it came back into my life in a series of serendipitous and very fortunate events where I had the opportunity to send a tape to Tyler directly, saying, ‘I should be in your movie and here’s why’ — and I did the two monologues I did in the film and much to my surprise and great happiness he said, “Okay.”

Family Ties: Tessa is the daughter of singer/songwriter Marc A. Thompson of the New York-based band Chocolate Genius, and the granddaughter of actor/musician Bobby Ramos (“Latin Cruise”), one of the first Latin Americans to have his own television show.

Fun Facts: Tessa is of Caucasian, African American and Mexican decent. Recently, Tessa was nominated for a NAACP Image Award for her stage performance as Juliet in “Romeo and Juliet.”

Hobbies: In her spare time she enjoys dance, choreography and sports, including tennis, swimming, volleyball and surfing.

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