First South African actress to lead an American series

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International Emmy-nominated actress Thuso Mbedu is the latest local star to break into Hollywood.

Mbedu has been nominated for an Emmy Award for her role in the telenovela Is’Thunzi, which has been called “one of the most compelling television programmes on South African television” by Mail & Guardian. She also played Kitso Medupe in the Soap opera Scandal!, Nosisa in Isibaya, and Boni Khumalo in Saints and Sinners.

And now the superstar will make history as the first South African actress to lead an American television series.

Mbedu has officially been cast as Cora, the main character of Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize–winning novel “The Underground Railroad.”

The series, which tells the story of three slaves who seek freedom from Southern plantations via the Underground Railroad, will premiere on Amazon and will consist of 11 episodes written and directed by Barry Jenkins.

Mbedu’s love interest in the series Caesar will be played by Aaron Pierre, while Chase W. Dillon will portray Homer.

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