Take a close look at this face.
If you’re a fan of British television, you may recognize Gugu Mbatha-Raw from Spooks (MI-5), Doctor Who or a couple of episodes of Bad Girls (Season 8).
But her face is about to get quite familiar to the rest of us, too. J.J. Abrams has just cast her as the female lead in Undercovers, his new NBC series about a married pair of CIA agents. AfterElton.com favorite Boris Kodjoe plays her husband.
Mbatha-Raw, whose first name Gugulethu means “our pride” in Zulu, has made quite a splash on the London stage, most recently as Ophelia to Jude Law’s Hamlet. The play’s director, Michael Grandage, called her “one of the most remarkable young actresses around.” And she’s only been acting for just over five years — she graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in 2004.
Now she’s getting the kind of break that may take her on the same path to stardom as Abrams’ other young female leads: Jennifer Garner (Alias), Keri Russell (Felicity), Evangeline Lily (Lost) and Anna Torv (Fringe).
Undercovers has been described as a cross between Mr. and Mrs. Smith and The Bourne Identity, which means Mbatha-Raw may get to be the kind of kick-ass action heroine that we haven’t seen on TV for awhile. And thinking about that is certainly a good way to start the weekend.
Have you seen Gugu Mbatha-Raw in any of her roles? Are you looking forward to Undercovers?