'Belle' Star Gugu Mbatha-Raw's Oprah Luncheon
'Belle' Star Gugu Mbatha-Raw's Oprah Luncheon
Actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw talks with Billy Bush and Kit Hoover on Access Hollywood Live about her breakthrough performance as a strong woman caught between two 18th Century worlds in the film “Belle.” What was it like receiving praise from Oprah? And, what’s the story behind the painting on which “Belle” is based? “Belle” is in select theaters now.
Coming up. I will not make a wife. She have a tongue. Explains why I need marry your son. Gugu mbatha-raw plays a strong woman caught between two 18th century worlds in "Belle." Joins us to talk about her break-through performance. People are already talking about this, tell me about the tweet from Oprah. Oh, yes. I mean it's been amazing. Oprah's been so supportive. She tweeted on Saturday and then we got an invitation to have lunch at her house in Santa Barbara with the cast and the director. When is that happening? It happened the day before yesterday. And she instagramed some pictures and yeah, she's just been celebrating the movie. Go to the house in Santa Barbara, you drive up, she meets you there. It was amazing. Such a beautiful occasion. Really, really hot day and she had organized this gorgeous lunch and greeted us all. We were talking about the movie. She's so excited about it. Her place is stunning. What did she serve. Was Stedman hanging around in a speedo by the pool? You know what, we had amazing -- we had a beautiful salad from her garden fresh and lovely, lobster risotto and some cake. It was dreamy. Lobster. Garden. Risotto. What did she say to you? Here's the tweet. Want to read that. Oh, my gosh. I loved "Belle" so much I invited the cast to lunch at my house. Then. I can't read that. You have to read the last part. She tweeted it. Oprah said gugu mbatha-raw is a rising star. Didn't want to read it. How sweet is that. Bravo. What did she say? She's just -- she loved it. I think she was really excited it was, you know, a really fee mill centric story and so romantic and the period and she's championing the director as well. She just lovgs the film. Beautiful to watch. Based on a true story now? It's based on a painting actually of my character Elizabeth belle and her cousin and the two of them are depicted equally in the painting which is quite rare for the time and that inspired the writer and director. We never understand what happens to your mother but your father is the 18th century member of the Ary stock cra ki. Her mother a slave, her father in the aristocracy. When her mother died her father took her to be brought up as a English lady in London and her great uncle was the lord chief justice of England at the time. Caught in the middle because she doesn't dine with the servants and doesn't dine with her family at the big state occasions. Exa actually. Even though they love her they're working out how to love her. They sort of love this little girl but because she's mixed race and don't know how to can deal with the origins of her mother. It's an ambiguous position. How she works her way through that in society at the time. You had a postcard of the painting? Yes. This is long before there was even a script or long before I even thought it was possible this was, you know, really going to happen, I met the producer Damon Jones a few years ago and went and got a postcard of the painting from the gift shop. The painsing is in Scotland and I was in London. I wasn't going to see the real thing. I hung on to the postcard, carried it around with me in my diary and a copy in my room, pinned it up and hoped one day it would happen and it did. And it did. This is right in your wheelhouse. This is -- you're from oxford. I'm from oxford and we shot scenes from the movie in my hometown which is crazy, through the streets in a carriage. It had to be you. If it wasn't you would have been like no. Yeah. I still auditioned like everybody else, but for me, you know, from doing theater and Shakespeare as my background and classical training, to be -- You were ready. I did so ready to give it a go. In oxford did people recognize you, there's gugu. We were filming so early in the morning and a lot of students in oxford. Not many people were out when we were first shooting. My parents came to the set a couple of my old school friends and one of my art teachers visited which is crazy. You were on jj Abrams undercover, right? Yes. That made it like 12 episodes or something. Yeah. And it -- the cancellation of that show free you to do this movie? Oh, absolutely. Oh, my gosh. Gosh -- yeah. I mean for me it was baptism by fire and wonderful experience my first job. Jj took a chance on me and gave me my first job in America. All that experience of doing the action, doing the American accent, every day, really, really working hard on that, it really sort of stood me in good sted to take on a lead role like belle. Your name, how many people botch your last name and tell us what -- The local news gets ahold of it around the country. Right. I'm not doing any botched examples. Mbatha-raw. You did a perfect job. I'm English. I refuse to butcher a beautiful names like your. Where does it come from. Gugu is zulu. My dad from South Africa. It's short for gugulatu which means our pride in zulu. How proud of you are they. I think they're pretty proud. They came to New York to the premier a couple weeks ago and just really excited to kind of take in everything and see "Belle" with me. It was special to watch it with them at the premier. What I think we'll hear in the coming months, Oprah go gugu. I think that is coming. It was made for Oprah. Gugu! She was telling me she has this school in South Africa and she said you're the third gugu I've met. She has the girls school in johannesburg. The first person I've ever met that has met another gugu. I said, I have to go because I would love to meet another gugu. I've never met one. Two of them at my school. You're my first gugu. Nice to meet you. Gugulato. You are stunning too. Absolutely gorgeous. Congratulations. "Belle" is in select theaters right now.