1. She started out as a theatre actor
Before starring on television and in films, Tessa was a gifted theatre actor. She made her professional debut in the Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company’s production of The Tempest in 2002. She starred as Juliet in the 2003 production of Romeo and Juliet: Antebellum New Orleans, 1836, which got her nominated for an NAACP Theatre Award. She starred in Tyler Perry’s stage adaptation of For Colored Girls after auditing for the movie.
2. She became famous for her role on Veronica Mars
Tessa had a small number of one shot TV roles, and then landed her big break in 2005 as Jackie Cook on Veronica Mars. She was cast as a lead in the short-lived CW series Hidden Palms in 2007, and when that ended, she continued work as guest stars. In 2013, she starred in BBC America’s Copper.
3. She’s also a talented musician
Tessa is part of the electro band Caught a Ghost. The band contributed to the soundtrack for Dear White People, in which she had a starring role.
4. She’s had an illustrious film career
Tessa has been in a number of high-profile films within the years preceding Thor: Ragnarok. She starred as Bianca in Creed, and as Diane Nash in Selma. She had a starring role in the fabulous Dear White People, as well. Her film career started in 2006 in the horror film When a Stranger Calls.
5. Tessa’s been nominated for a number of awards
Tessa has been nominated for awards from the Gotham Awards, NAACP Image Awards, Black Reel Awards, African-American Film Critics Associations, Georgia Film Critics Association Awards, and Black Film Festival. We have a feeling that there are going to be so many more in the future!
HollywoodLifers, are you excited to see Tessa in Thor: Ragnarok? Tell us in the comments!