Wunmi Mosaku (born 1986) is a Nigerian-born British actress, known for her roles as Joy in the BBC Two miniseries Moses Jones (2009) and Holly Lawson in the ITV series Vera (2011–12). She won the 2017 BAFTA TV Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Gloria Taylor in the TV film Damilola, Our Loved Boy (2016). In 2019, she starred in the fifth series of Luther.
Mosaku at The Old Vic, Sunday, 14 November, 2010
|Alma mater||Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (2007)|
Mosaku was born in Nigeria, and subsequently emigrated to Manchester, England, when she was one year old. She attended Trinity Church of England High School and Xaverian Sixth Form College. She also sang for eleven years in the Manchester Girls Choir. Her parents were both professors in Nigeria but were unable to do the same jobs in the UK. Her mother started a business and her father ended up returning to Nigeria.
Mosaku graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 2007 and made her stage debut at the Arcola Theatre in a production of Pedro Calderón de la Barca's The Great Theatre of the World. Since then she has also appeared in Rough Crossings, directed by Rupert Goold and based on the book by Simon Schama, at the Lyric Hammersmith; The Vertical Hour by David Hare and Truth and Reconciliation, both at the Royal Court Theatre and Mules at the Young Vic. In 2009 she appeared in Katrina a verbatim play which told six people's stories of their struggles of survival when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans August 2005. Mosaku was originally cast as Sophie in the UK premiere of Ruined by Lynn Nottage at the Almeida Theatre but had to pull out due to an injury.
In 2008, she appeared in the first of the UNDEREXPOSED exhibitions at the National Portrait Gallery designed to raise the profile of black role models and celebrates the talent that exists among the Black British community. Her photo also appeared on Commercial Way, Peckham, London, as part of the exhibition. In 2009, she starred in the BBC Two series Moses Jones, for which she won Best Actress in a Miniseries at the Roma Fiction Festival.
In 2010, Wunmi Mosaku was named one of The Seven Fresh Faces of Toronto International Film Festival, for I Am Slave, in which she starred. She plays Malia, a girl who has been kidnapped from her village in Sudan, and sold into slavery. For her performance Mosaku won awards such as Best Actress at the Birmingham Black Film Festival, Best Onscreen performance at the Cultural Diversity Awards and Best Female performance at the Screen Nation Awards. In 2011 Mosaku joined Vera and played the role of Holly Lawson but left the show after just one year.
In 2015, Mosaku played the part of Quentina, a traffic warden, in the three-part BBC series Capital based on John Lanchester's novel of the same name. In 2016, she appeared in Playtest, an episode of the anthology series Black Mirror.
When asked to list her personal heroes, Mosaku included her grandmother Anike Adisa, whom she described as having "taught me so many lessons"; actor Albert Finney who was her inspiration for attending the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art; her colleague and former instructor at RADA, William Gaskill; Paul Newman, who she admired, not just for his acting, but also for his philanthropic efforts with Newman's Own; and Oprah Winfrey, who Mosaku considers "a superwoman."
|2007||*Sold: Episode #1.5||Firefighter||ITV|
|2008||Never Better: "First Week Euphoria"||Server||BBC Two|
|2008||Doctors: "Who Do You Think You Are Kidding?"||Nurse Kelly Strathairn||BBC One|
|2008||The Bill: "Trial and Error: Part 1"||Sophie Oduya||ITV|
|2009||Moses Jones||Joy||BBC Two|
|2010||Silent Witness||Charlie Gibbs||BBC One|
|2010||One Night in Emergency||Beautiful Nurse||BBC Scotland television film|
|2010||Father & Son||Stacey Cox||RTÉ One, ITV|
|2010||Law & Order: UK||Tamika Vincent||ITV|
|2011||32 Brinkburn Street||Joy||BBC One|
|2011||The Body Farm||Rosa Gilbert||BBC One|
|2013||Dancing on the Edge||Carla||BBC Two|
|2014||In the Flesh||Maxine Martin||BBC Three|
|2015||Don't Take My Baby||Belinda||BBC Three|
|2016||Black Mirror||Katie||Episode: "Playtest"|
|Damilola, Our Loved Boy||Gloria Taylor||BBC One|
BAFTA TV Award for Best Supporting Actress
|2017||Fearless||DCS Olivia Greenwood||ITV|
|The End of the F***ing World||DC Teri Darego||Channel 4, All 4, Netflix|
|2018||Kiri||DI Vanessa Mercer||Channel 4|
|2019||Lovecraft Country||Ruby Dandridge||Main role|
|2019||Luther||DS Catherine Halliday||BBC One|
|2019||Animal Babies: First Year on Earth||Narrator||BBC Two: 3 part wildlife series|
|2006||The Women of Troy||Helen of Troy||Phil Hawkins|
|2010||I Am Slave||Malia||Gabriel Range|
|2011||Stolen||Sonia Carney||Justin Chadwick|
|2013||Philomena||Young nun||Stephen Frears|
|2016||Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice||Kahina Ziri||Zack Snyder|
|2016||Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them||Beryl||David Yates|
|2019||Sweetness in the Belly||Amina||Zeresenay Berhane Mehari|
- "Wunmi Mosaku. (1986-), Stage and screen actress". National Portrait Gallery. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
- "TEN MINUTES WITH... WUNMI MOSAKU". Arise Live. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- Wise, Louis (23 December 2018). "Wunmi Mosaku interview: Idris Elba's new Luther sidekick on how she got into acting by watching Annie". The Times. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
- Peter J. Thompson. "I AM SLAVE'S WUNMI MOSAKU ON BEING MENDE NAZER". Nigeria Films. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
- "BBC One: Capital". BBC Online. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
- "Wunmi Mosaku: my heroes and heroines". United Kingdom: The Telegraph. Retrieved 24 November 2014.