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Thuso Mbedu looks back on 'The Underground Railroad' success a year later

21 May 2022 - 10:00 By Constance Gaanakgomo
Thuso Mbedu has reflected on 'The Underground Railroad' a year later and thanked South Africans for showering her with support.
Thuso Mbedu has reflected on 'The Underground Railroad' a year later and thanked South Africans for showering her with support.
Image: Instagram/ Thuso Mbedu

Two-time Emmy-nominated actress Thuso Mbedu has taken to Instagram to reflect on her time shooting The Underground Railroad, a year after it made its debut on screens.

The star played the lead character of Cora in Barry Jenkins' adaptation of Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.

She penned a heartwarming letter to her fans, thanking them for making the series a success.

“A year ago The Underground Railroad dropped. It is a project that I will always hold dear in my heart. I will always celebrate every single person involved in creating this story.

“Thank you to the South Africans who showered me with love and support and danced along to a dance challenge and made it a Thuso Mbedu Day situation. Oh goodness. I still blush at the thought of it. Thank you to everyone else who received this gift with kindness and an open heart.”

The novel follows the life of Cora, a young slave who escapes from a plantation with her companion, Caesar, and heads north on the underground railway.

Reflecting on bagging the role in 2019, Thuso said it was a blessing and an honour to tell such an important story.

“My thumb and neurons are failing me right now so I'll just do as most South Africans do when this happens: I got the job! It was such an amazing process and experience. Like, true story, just prepping to audition for this role made me grow so much. It's such a blessing and honour to tell this story ... Again, words fail me so I'll stop there for now,” she said.

Media mogul and American billionaire Oprah Winfrey took to social media to gush about Thuso’s stellar performance. She said Thuso had given the “performance of a lifetime”. 

“I have been watching The Underground Railroad series all week and I have to say it is essential watching. Director Barry takes the already extraordinary novel by Colson Whitehead and turns it into a multi-part series that will live in your spirit.

“And 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,” Oprah wrote.

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