Thandie Newton is selective in choosing her film and TV projects as she worries about the effect Hollywood has on her kids.
The British actress is currently starring in U.S. TV series Westworld and has a key role as space smuggler Val Beckett in upcoming science-fiction blockbuster Solo: A Star Wars Story.
However, the 45-year-old is careful to ensure that work doesn’t take over her life, as she wants to protect her three children, Ripley, 16, Nico, 13 and Booker, four, from the dark side of the film industry.
“I’ve acted for 30 years now and I’m so grateful for the career I’ve had,” she tells Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper. “There have been frustrating times, but the last five or six years I’ve stopped doing anything I don’t want to do – and it’s not that I can afford to do that. It’s just that I’ve seen too much and know too much of the influence the industry has on young minds – my daughters are 16 and 13 and my son is four – and I’m mindful of the harm that can do.”
Although she and her husband, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again director Ol Parker, are determined that their kids live a normal life, Nico is on her way to becoming a star herself – as she’s bagged a role in Tim Burton’s live-action remake of classic Disney animation Dumbo.
And the star admits her daughter has caught the acting bug, saying, “We thought it would be a couple of days on a Tim Burton film but it became nearly six months. And now she wants to be an actress.”
As for her mom, she says that when picking projects she automatically turn down roles that she feels show women in a bad light.
“If I feel the production is being derogatory about other female characters, then I won’t do it,” Thandie explains. “I know how important it is to stand your ground.”