At the age of 18, Amandla’s already making a huge impact on the film industry. Here’s what you need to know before the whole world catches on.
She once played a young Zoe SaldanaHer first acting role was in the action movie Colombiana, playing the younger version of Zoe Saldana’s character, an assassin. Doesn’t get much more badass than that. From the off, Amandla is pushed to the limit as she jumps out of windows, hangs by her fingertips off balconies and defies being captured by the bad guys. She was doing all this at the age of 12…while the rest of us were moaning about our maths homework.
She stole our hearts as Rue in The Hunger Games
Forget Katniss, it was Rue who had everyone weeping in the aisles during the first (and best) Hunger Games. The soulful and brave little girl from District 11 was the youngest tribute and although her loyalty and admiration for Katniss cost Rue her life, Amandla’s sterling (and scene stealing) performance has made her a firm Hunger Games fan favourite.
She can sing
Because being the lead actress in Everything, Everything wasn’t enough for Amandla, she snuck onto the soundtrack too, with a gorgeous cover of Mac Demarco’s 'Let My Baby Stay'. It’s dreamy and ethereal, totally capturing the essence of the film and has a moody music video that goes with it. It’s not the first time she’s appeared in a music video; Amandla had a cameo in Beyonce’s visual album, Lemonade, making her the envy of, well, pretty much everyone. She also plays the violin, guitar and drums. Feeling guilty about giving up those clarinet lessons now?
She’s a political activist
At 16 she posted a video essay called 'Don’t Cash Crop on my Cornrows' to explain how she felt about the impact of cultural appropriation. Oprah (yes, Oprah) took note and invited her to speak about her activism. Since then, Amandla has become an even more prominent and inspirational spokesperson, triggering conversations about racism, feminism and the importance of not being pigeonholed. She’s particularly passionate about seeing diverse roles for people of colour on screen and fell in love with Everything, Everything because of Maddy and Olly’s interracial relationship.
She’s starring in Amma Asante’s latest film
Amandla’s next cinematic outing will be in the acclaimed director’s WWII drama, Where Hands Touch, playing a young, biracial woman growing up in Nazi Germany. She joins an amazing roster of actors who have worked on Asante’s previous explorations of race and society, including David Oyelowo and Gugu Mbatha-Raw.
Everybody wants a piece of Amandla right now so make sure you’re up to date with her work, starting with Everything, Everything, at Vue now.