“Belle” Star Gugu Mbatha-Raw Talks “Jupiter Ascending” Role

British actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw is receiving excellent notices for her work as the titular character in Fox Searchlight’s just released period drama Belle. Mbatha-Raw will also be featured later this summer in Jupiter Ascending, a science fiction adventure tale from Lana and Andy Wachowski.


During the Belle interviews, the actress talked about her role in Jupiter Ascending, in which she plays a hybrid between a human and a deer! The part required the actress to wear a headpiece and prosthetics to achieve her character’s look. It’s all part of the Wachowskis’ grand design, and with such features as Cloud Atlas and the Matrix films under their belt, it’s safe to assume Jupiter Ascending will contain its share of eye-popping visuals.


Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Belle (Fox Searchlight)

“I have to impress upon you that my role in Jupiter Ascending is very much a supporting role,” said Mbatha-Raw, who plays a character named Famulus in the epic. “It’s a very different scale to Belle and in fact it was fascinating for me to go from a large cog in a small wheel like Belle in an independent film to go directly and do a massive studio film but be a relatively small piece of the puzzle. It made me appreciate our intimate journey of Belle because the scale of (Jupiter Ascending).”

To hear Mbatha-Raw elaborate on playing Famulus in Jupiter Ascending, click on the media bar below (Belle co-star Sam Reid can be heard in the clip).

Jupiter Ascending, starring Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum, opens July 18.  Belle, co-starring Emily Watson and Matthew Goode, is now playing in select theaters.


‘Belle’ Actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw Inspired By Jane Austen Universe

Belle (Fox Searchlight)

Now playing in select theaters, Belle is the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), the biracial daughter of Admiral Sir John Lindsay (Matthew Goode). Although her aristocratic lineage gives her various privileges, there are still huge challenges Belle must face. Tom Wilkinson co-stars as Lord Mansfield, the great uncle who raises Belle along with his wife (Emily Watson), and Sarah Gadon plays Belle’s cousin Elizabeth.

Directed by Amma Asante, this 18th century England period drama appealed to Mbatha-Raw, who grew up an avid Jane Austin fan.

Belle (Fox Searchlight)
Belle (Fox Searchlight)

“I certainly grew up watching Colin Firth’s and Jennifer Ehle’s TV adaptation of Pride and Prejudice,” said Mbatha-Raw. “That is what I used to watch on Sunday nights with my mum. I read the books as well and in fact Amma recommended to watch again Sense and Sensibility, the Emma Thompson version. And that for me is so inspiring, not only because she wrote it as well but the sisterhood that is between the Dashwood sisters is something I tried to emulate with the relationship with Elizabeth (Sarah Gadon) in the film.”

Click on the media bar below to hear the English actress talk about one of the many fascinating aspects of Dido Elizabeth Belle’s life and respective descendants: