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Gugu Mbatha-Raw: If you don’t already know who she is, it’s time to get familiar. You may have first seen her as Belle back in May in the 1700s-set film with the same name. Next month, she’ll be on the silver screen again when she stars as Noni, a troubled superstar in Beyond the Lights.

But in the meantime, the English actress is featured in ELLE magazine’s Women in Hollywood issue, and she’s in good company, too. Alongside the likes of Zoe SaldanaTina Fey, and Jennifer Garner, Gugu talks about her upcoming movie, saying:

“One of the things that drew me to the project was the relationship between mother and daughter— that ‘mom-ager’ dynamic—because I grew up with a single mom, though my dad has definitely been in my life a lot. But my mom couldn’t be more different from Minnie Driver’s character. I was the pushy child, the one who wanted to be doing ballet and jazz and tap and everything.”

Inside the issue, we get up close and personal with Gugu, her striking facial features—like those to-die-for cheekbones—and a popping orange lip. Being a star on the rise, there’s no doubt we’ll be seeing much more of her—not that anyone is complaining.

Plus, she’s as humble as she is gorgeous:

“It’s funny—I never feel like, ‘Oh, wow, I’ve made it.’ I’m interested in the journey. I’m interested in the adventure of working with different people, and I guess as soon as you sit on your laurels and can go, ‘Well, aren’t I great?’—that’s just the beginning of the end.”

Anyone else getting Lupita vibes?

The Women in Hollywood issue hits stands October 21.


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