Thuso Mbedu on meeting a therapist after acting as Cora


Thuso Mbedu recently had an interview with Oprah Winfrey and she detailed her struggles and healing period playing the role of Cora in the series, The Underground Railroad.

The American TV personality praised Thuso’s acting skill during the interview.

“I have never, ever in this lifetime seen as consistent a performance as you have given in The Underground Railroad,” Oprah said. “You have the gift, girl.”

The South African star revealed that there were similarities between herself and Cora; as she lost her mother at the age of 4 in reality.

Speaking of Cora, Thuso said, “She’s ostracized. She’s built a world in her head where she’s safest there. Her mother had left her at a young age. She has a foundation of great loss, rejection, and abandonment.”

Revealing the similarities between them, she disclosed how she lost her mom at a young age.

“On my end, I lost my mom at the age of four to a brain tumor. At the time, I didn’t understand what was happening. At the funeral, apparently I was talking to my mother and telling her to wake up.”

However, she had to heal playing Cora.

” I carried that loss, abandonment, and rejection with me for the majority of my life—becoming very hard, keeping people at a distance, not forming relationships in any way, shape or form. I had to face that in playing Cora. I had to heal from that in playing Cora.”

There was also a guidance counselor on set who checked on Thuso from time to time, making her conscious of her reality without losing herself to the character.

In a written appreciation not to Barry Jenkins, the director of the film, the SA star said; “This character has healed parts of me I didn’t even know were wounded. Cora challenged me in many different ways and I am a different person because of her.”

When Oprah asked Thuso about her health due to the movie role – “How are you? Psychologically, mentally, spiritually—how did you do that?”

She answered by revealing that she visited a therapist after the shoot.

“I’m good now, I’m good. After the shoot wrapped I went to see a therapist because I felt that I really needed to debrief from the character. The character and I have a lot of similarities in terms of our foundation. I had to differentiate between the two. I’m good now.”

Recommended for you