On May 14th, the acclaimed Pulitzer Prize-winning book ‘The Underground Railroad” showcased itself as a 10 episode drama-series directed by Barry Jenkins.
The plot is set in the antebellum era of American history, focusing on the late mid-1800s when slavery was still tragically rife in the South. The story’s protagonist Cora Randall (Thuso Mbedu’s character) is an incredibly strong and brave African American woman. Cora decides to choose her destiny and catches the fictional underground railroad that promises freedom in the North. However, a slave catcher named Ridgeway (Joel Edgerton) is hot on her trail. The series tells the story of the fight for one’s liberation, and a lion-hearted protagonist and the other character’s personal stories and multi-faceted origins.
It takes a strong individual to portray Cora, but it seems that Thuso was able to hold her own. She has evolved and matured wonderfully in her career since her portrayal of Winnie in Is’Thunzi. Since “The Underground Railroad’s” premiere, Thuso has received a lot of praise for her performance from around the world.
Some of the highlights of her praise have been:
- Thuso Mbedu Day. The day the show premiered was largely dubbed in Thuso’s honour. This proved that people were already expecting greatness from Thuso.
- Praise from the powerful likes of Oprah Winfrey who said “Thuso Mbedu gives the performance of a lifetime. Great things are coming for her and everyone will be saying her name after watching her as the superhero that is Cora.”
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- Glowing reviews from critics (IOL)
- the prediction of a primetime Emmy (according to Variety’s Emmy predictions)
Thuso and her character Cora
According to IOL, Thuso expressed that she felt a connection to Cora’s character. This is what she had to say.
“There’s a part of me that wants to say I saw parts of me in her, but I don’t know if I’m brave enough to say that yet because Cora is so much stronger than me.” She went on to state that “playing her did heal parts of me I did not know were wounded. She gives hope for a future to the everyday man and woman who, with each new day, find themselves fighting for something.”
WATCH: The Underground Railroad Trailer