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November 27, 2017

Twist of Faith

Letitia Wright's career took a much-needed spiritual detour.

Tatiana Siegel
  • Kwaku Alston

Last year, Letitia Wright turned down a role in a major Hollywood feature film, a seemingly head-scratching move given that the Guyanese-born actress had been toiling almost exclusively in British TV at the time.

But she recalls being in a bad place in her life, with her self-worth dictated by the whims of any random casting agent. Instead, she embarked on a sabbatical to immerse herself in her faith.

"I heard this voice that's like, 'What you're turning down now, you're going to get back far more than what you're sacrificing,'" says Wright, who has lived in London since she was seven. "And I went on a path of Christianity. I sacrificed a really good job for my spiritual well-being."

The time off reaped rewards. Wright landed a starring role in season four of Netflix's Emmy-winning Black Mirror, debuting late December, as well as a pivotal role in the Marvel tentpole Black Panther, due in February. In the coming months, she also will appear in the films The Commuter, opposite Liam Neeson, and Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One.

The Black Mirror gig was especially satisfying: she'd been forced to turn down a small role in season three because it clashed with her Humans schedule.

But as she was wrapping production on the Marvel film earlier this year, she tried again and taped an audition one exhausted night. A week later, her agents called to say the role was hers — and it was bigger than what she'd given up the year before. "Just being a tree in Black Mirror, you should be grateful," she jokes.

As for specifics, she remains coy. "It's top-secret stuff," she says. "I play a lone ranger–type traveler. She stumbles across this museum, and in the museum are a lot of cool gadgets. It's intertwined into three stories and kind of trippy."

Naturally.

When she's not acting in a museum, Wright frequently visits them in her downtime. Or any quiet space, like her favorite church, though she admits it can be difficult to be a devout Christian in the world of film and TV. Still, she's up for the challenge.

"When I first stepped into my faith, I was very doubtful about acting," she says. "I thought, 'What kind of impact can I make there?' God told me that if you hide in the four walls of church and you're taking all of this light and love and happiness and you don't go out and share that, then what difference is that going to make?" 


This article originally appeared in emmy magazine, Issue No. 10, 2017

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