Tessa Thompson

Tessa Lynne Thompson (born October 3, 1983) is an American actress, producer, singer, and songwriter. She began her professional acting career with the Los Angeles Women's Shakespeare Company while studying at Santa Monica College. She appeared in productions of The Tempest and Romeo and Juliet, the latter of which earned her a NAACP Theatre Award nomination. Her breakthrough came with leading roles in Tina Mabry's independent drama film Mississippi Damned (2009) and Tyler Perry's drama film For Colored Girls (2010). Thompson was was raised between Los Angeles and Brooklyn, New York. Her father, singer-songwriter Marc Anthony Thompson, is of Afro-Panamanian descent and is the founder of the musical collective Chocolate Genius, Inc. Her mother has white and Mexican ancestry. She has a younger half-sister, Zsela, who is a singer and songwriter. Thompson attended Santa Monica High School, where she played Hermia in a student production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. She then attended Santa Monica College (SMC), where she studied cultural anthropology and is a member of the alma mater. While at SMC, she also attended lectures by Lisa Wolpe of the Los Angeles Women's Shakespeare Company (LAWSC). This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by contributors. Text is available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license; additional terms may apply.

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When a Stranger Calls (2006)

Far away from the site of a gruesome murder, a teenager named Jill Johnson arrives at a luxurious home for a baby-sitting job. With the children fast asleep, she settles in for what she expects to be an ordinary evening. Soon, the ringing of a phone and the ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Simon West
CAST:  Camilla Belle  •  Katie Cassidy  •  Tommy Flanagan  •  Brian Geraghty

Far away from the site of a gruesome murder, a teenager named Jill Johnson arrives at a luxurious home for a baby-sitting job. With the children fast asleep, she settles in for what she expects to be an ordinary evening. Soon, the ringing of a phone and the ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Simon West
CAST:  Camilla Belle  •  Katie Cassidy  •  Tommy Flanagan  •  Brian Geraghty

Selma (2014)

IntenseSlow movingRealDramatic

"Selma," as in Alabama, the place where segregation in the South was at its worst, leading to a march that ended in violence, forcing a famous statement by President Lyndon B. Johnson that ultimately led to the signing of the Voting Rights Act.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Ava DuVernay
CAST:  David Oyelowo  •  Tom Wilkinson  •  Carmen Ejogo  •  André Holland

"Selma," as in Alabama, the place where segregation in the South was at its worst, leading to a march that ended in violence, forcing a famous statement by President Lyndon B. Johnson that ultimately led to the signing of the Voting Rights Act.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Ava DuVernay
CAST:  David Oyelowo  •  Tom Wilkinson  •  Carmen Ejogo  •  André Holland

Dear White People (2014)

Four black students attend an Ivy League college where a riot breaks out over an “African-American” themed party thrown by white students. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, the film explores racial identity in 'post-racial' America while weaving a story about ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Justin Simien
CAST:  Tyler James Williams  •  Tessa Thompson  •  Teyonah Parris  •  Brandon P. Bell

Four black students attend an Ivy League college where a riot breaks out over an “African-American” themed party thrown by white students. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, the film explores racial identity in 'post-racial' America while weaving a story about ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Justin Simien
CAST:  Tyler James Williams  •  Tessa Thompson  •  Teyonah Parris  •  Brandon P. Bell

Everyday Black Man (2011)

Since closing the door to a violent past, quiet and thoughtful Moses Stanton everyday existence is running a small neighborhood store, and watching over his daughter who doesn't know he exists. When a young man, Malik, comes in claiming to be a black Muslim that is ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Carmen Madden
CAST:  Henry Brown  •  Omari Hardwick  •  Tessa Thompson

Since closing the door to a violent past, quiet and thoughtful Moses Stanton everyday existence is running a small neighborhood store, and watching over his daughter who doesn't know he exists. When a young man, Malik, comes in claiming to be a black Muslim that is ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Carmen Madden
CAST:  Henry Brown  •  Omari Hardwick  •  Tessa Thompson

Exquisite Corpse (2010)

A medical student (Steve Sandvoss) is working on a research project and discovers that he is able to reanimate recently-deceased mice. He takes a break from his work to go on a trip with three friends. He admits to his friend Sophia (Nicole Vicius) that he loves ...  (more)

DIRECTION: 
CAST:  Steve Sandvoss  •  Nicole Vicius  •  Guillermo Díaz  •  Tessa Thompson

A medical student (Steve Sandvoss) is working on a research project and discovers that he is able to reanimate recently-deceased mice. He takes a break from his work to go on a trip with three friends. He admits to his friend Sophia (Nicole Vicius) that he loves ...  (more)

DIRECTION: 
CAST:  Steve Sandvoss  •  Nicole Vicius  •  Guillermo Díaz  •  Tessa Thompson

Make It Happen (2008)

Embarking on a journey to fulfill her dreams as a dancer, a young girl discovers a new style of dance that will prove to be the source of both conflict and self-discovery.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Darren Grant
CAST:  Mary Elizabeth Winstead  •  Riley Smith  •  John Reardon  •  Tessa Thompson

Embarking on a journey to fulfill her dreams as a dancer, a young girl discovers a new style of dance that will prove to be the source of both conflict and self-discovery.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Darren Grant
CAST:  Mary Elizabeth Winstead  •  Riley Smith  •  John Reardon  •  Tessa Thompson

For Colored Girls (2010)

DepressingHeartbreakingEmotionalTear-jerker

About existence from the perspective of 20 nameless black females. Each of the women portray one of the characters represented in the collection of twenty poems, revealing different issues that impact women in general and women of color in particular.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Tyler Perry
CAST:  Kimberly Elise  •  Janet Jackson  •  Loretta Devine  •  Thandiwe Newton

About existence from the perspective of 20 nameless black females. Each of the women portray one of the characters represented in the collection of twenty poems, revealing different issues that impact women in general and women of color in particular.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Tyler Perry
CAST:  Kimberly Elise  •  Janet Jackson  •  Loretta Devine  •  Thandiwe Newton

Mississippi Damned (2009)

Three poor Black kids in rural Mississippi reap the consequences of their family's cycle of abuse, addiction, and violence.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Tina Mabry
CAST:  Tessa Thompson  •  Adam Clark  •  Malcolm Goodwin  •  Michael Hyatt

Three poor Black kids in rural Mississippi reap the consequences of their family's cycle of abuse, addiction, and violence.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Tina Mabry
CAST:  Tessa Thompson  •  Adam Clark  •  Malcolm Goodwin  •  Michael Hyatt

The Human Contract (2008)

A free-spirited woman leads a businessman down a path of reckless abandon.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jada Pinkett Smith
CAST:  Paz Vega  •  Jason Clarke  •  Ted Danson  •  Idris Elba

A free-spirited woman leads a businessman down a path of reckless abandon.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jada Pinkett Smith
CAST:  Paz Vega  •  Jason Clarke  •  Ted Danson  •  Idris Elba

The Initiation of Sarah (2006)

A sorority girl unwittingly becomes the focus of a battle between good and evil.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Stuart Gillard
CAST:  Mika Boorem  •  Summer Glau  •  JoAnna Garcia  •  Tessa Thompson

A sorority girl unwittingly becomes the focus of a battle between good and evil.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Stuart Gillard
CAST:  Mika Boorem  •  Summer Glau  •  JoAnna Garcia  •  Tessa Thompson

Points of Origin (2014)

Will the relationship between an American radio host and his wife survive the ethical dilemmas of outsourced pregnancy in India?  (more)

DIRECTION:  Anya Leta
CAST:  Ankur Vikal  •  Tessa Thompson  •  Auroshika Dey  •  Denzil Smith

Will the relationship between an American radio host and his wife survive the ethical dilemmas of outsourced pregnancy in India?  (more)

DIRECTION:  Anya Leta
CAST:  Ankur Vikal  •  Tessa Thompson  •  Auroshika Dey  •  Denzil Smith

Grantham and Rose (2014)

When a petty crime thrusts him into the company of a feisty eighty-one-year-old African-American woman named Rose Price, Grantham and Rose push the boundaries of their relationship, their lives, and what it means to love, as they take a road trip back to their roots.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Kristin Hanggi
CAST:  Jake T. Austin  •  Marla Gibbs  •  Tessa Thompson  •  Ryan Spahn

When a petty crime thrusts him into the company of a feisty eighty-one-year-old African-American woman named Rose Price, Grantham and Rose push the boundaries of their relationship, their lives, and what it means to love, as they take a road trip back to their roots.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Kristin Hanggi
CAST:  Jake T. Austin  •  Marla Gibbs  •  Tessa Thompson  •  Ryan Spahn

Avengers: Endgame (2019)

After the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War, the universe is in ruins due to the efforts of the Mad Titan, Thanos. With the help of remaining allies, the Avengers must assemble once more in order to undo Thanos' actions and restore order to the universe ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Joe Russo  •  Anthony Russo
CAST:  Josh Brolin  •  Chris Pratt  •  Brie Larson  •  Robert Downey Jr.

After the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War, the universe is in ruins due to the efforts of the Mad Titan, Thanos. With the help of remaining allies, the Avengers must assemble once more in order to undo Thanos' actions and restore order to the universe ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Joe Russo  •  Anthony Russo
CAST:  Josh Brolin  •  Chris Pratt  •  Brie Larson  •  Robert Downey Jr.

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok, the destruction of his home-world and the end of Asgardian civilization, at the hands of a powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Taika Waititi
CAST:  Chris Hemsworth  •  Tom Hiddleston  •  Cate Blanchett  •  Idris Elba

Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok, the destruction of his home-world and the end of Asgardian civilization, at the hands of a powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Taika Waititi
CAST:  Chris Hemsworth  •  Tom Hiddleston  •  Cate Blanchett  •  Idris Elba

War on Everyone (2016)

Two corrupt cops in New Mexico set out to blackmail and frame every criminal unfortunate enough to cross their path. Things take a sinister turn, however, when they try to intimidate someone who is more dangerous than they are. Or is he?  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Michael McDonagh
CAST:  Michael Peña  •  Alexander Skarsgård  •  Theo James  •  Tessa Thompson

Two corrupt cops in New Mexico set out to blackmail and frame every criminal unfortunate enough to cross their path. Things take a sinister turn, however, when they try to intimidate someone who is more dangerous than they are. Or is he?  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Michael McDonagh
CAST:  Michael Peña  •  Alexander Skarsgård  •  Theo James  •  Tessa Thompson

Creed (2015)

PowerfulInspiringDramaticTear-jerker

The former World Heavyweight Champion Rocky Balboa serves as a trainer and mentor to Adonis Johnson, the son of his late friend and former rival Apollo Creed.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Ryan Coogler
CAST:  Michael B. Jordan  •  Sylvester Stallone  •  Graham McTavish  •  Tessa Thompson

The former World Heavyweight Champion Rocky Balboa serves as a trainer and mentor to Adonis Johnson, the son of his late friend and former rival Apollo Creed.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Ryan Coogler
CAST:  Michael B. Jordan  •  Sylvester Stallone  •  Graham McTavish  •  Tessa Thompson

South Dakota (2017)

Barb is a real life "Juno" in South Dakota - a fourteen old high school track star and cheerleader in love with her 15 year old star athlete boyfriend - who allows a single moment of passion to change her forever. Chris is an African American teenager living on the ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Bruce Isacson
CAST:  Tessa Thompson  •  Piper Ferrone  •  Amanda Aday  •  Reid Ewing

Barb is a real life "Juno" in South Dakota - a fourteen old high school track star and cheerleader in love with her 15 year old star athlete boyfriend - who allows a single moment of passion to change her forever. Chris is an African American teenager living on the ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Bruce Isacson
CAST:  Tessa Thompson  •  Piper Ferrone  •  Amanda Aday  •  Reid Ewing

Automotive (2013)

AUTOMOTIVE is a modern noir seen through the eyes of a classic car: Is that a body Kansas is putting in the trunk? He buries it in the desert night under headlights while a beautiful woman watches from the backseat. She is Lonely, his lover and accomplice...or is ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Tom Glynn
CAST:  Will Estes  •  Emily Baldoni  •  Tessa Thompson  •  Ross McCall

AUTOMOTIVE is a modern noir seen through the eyes of a classic car: Is that a body Kansas is putting in the trunk? He buries it in the desert night under headlights while a beautiful woman watches from the backseat. She is Lonely, his lover and accomplice...or is ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Tom Glynn
CAST:  Will Estes  •  Emily Baldoni  •  Tessa Thompson  •  Ross McCall

Murder on the 13th Floor (2012)

A neglectful mother concocts a plan to kill her live-in nanny when she discovers the nanny is having an affair with her husband.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Hanelle M. Culpepper
CAST:  Tessa Thompson  •  Sean Patrick Thomas  •  Jordan Ladd  •  Brennan Elliott

A neglectful mother concocts a plan to kill her live-in nanny when she discovers the nanny is having an affair with her husband.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Hanelle M. Culpepper
CAST:  Tessa Thompson  •  Sean Patrick Thomas  •  Jordan Ladd  •  Brennan Elliott

Furlough (2018)

In between caring for her mother, a young woman works part time at a prison. The rookie guard gets a chance to prove her mettle when she's tasked with accompanying a hell-raising inmate on an emergency furlough to visit her dying mother. But things soon spiral out ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Laurie Collyer
CAST:  Tessa Thompson  •  Melissa Leo  •  Edgar Ramírez  •  Whoopi Goldberg

In between caring for her mother, a young woman works part time at a prison. The rookie guard gets a chance to prove her mettle when she's tasked with accompanying a hell-raising inmate on an emergency furlough to visit her dying mother. But things soon spiral out ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Laurie Collyer
CAST:  Tessa Thompson  •  Melissa Leo  •  Edgar Ramírez  •  Whoopi Goldberg
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