Lashana Lynch Covers AMAZING Magazine | Issue 4

Lashana Lynch is gearing up for what is perhaps the biggest role of her career so far: playing Rita Marley in musical biopic Bob Marley: One Love. For her, it’s all about the culture, as she represents her Jamaican roots both on-screen and off.

“My culture is incredibly important to me,” says British-Jamaican actor Lashana Lynch, who stars as Rita Marley in upcoming musical biopic Bob Marley: One Love. “I’d say most people who have come across me as a person or as an artist know that I lead with my culture. And anytime I get to link my work with my culture, I do it.”
Lynch is a shining example of practising what she preaches: aside from playing Cuban-born Jamaican singer songwriter Rita, founding member of the Soulettes and widow of reggae legend Bob, she was also able to honour her Jamaican heritage in 2021’s No Time To Die. The 25th James Bond film saw Lynch star alongside Daniel Craig’s Bond as secret agent Nomi, the first Black 007, a history-making role. As fans of the series will know, Bond author Ian Fleming wrote all his spy novels from his Goldeneye estate on Oracabessa Bay, on Jamaica’s northern coast. Jamaica has also served as a filming location for several Bond movies.
“When it comes around more than once in your lifetime, because I know a lot of people don't get to link the two, I go full throttle with it. I just allow it to speak,” says Lynch. “I give thanks to my family and I really try to involve them. My parents, especially, and their stories about coming to London from Jamaica. It’s a blessing to be able to create harmony between the two and for me to have the opportunities to discuss it through my work. It also reminds the world – especially in this time of the actors’ strike - that artists come with their own history that helps them to dive further into their work. Without that, sometimes you can struggle. Being able to explore more of my Jamaican culture meant that I didn't struggle. It was just there spiritually and emotionally.”
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Brit Marling Covers AMAZING Magazine | Issue 4

Brit Marling is taking her rightful place in the director’s chair with new FX series A Murder at the End of the World, which unflinchingly tackles the highly topical issues of artificial intelligence, misogyny and violence against women, in one hot-blooded whodunnit starring Britain’s Emma Corrin.

Brit Marling is flitting effortlessly around the Los Angeles Athletic Club, her ethereal aura glowing in front of photographer Graham Dunn’s lens, as we soak up the early autumn sunshine on the historic venue’s rooftop. Despite her inner light, the actor, writer and director is preparing to immerse us in an altogether darker place, in her new FX series A Murder at the End of the World.
Created by 41-year-old Marling and her former Georgetown University classmate Zal Batmanglij, the same duo behind Netflix’s much-loved mystery series The OA, A Murder at the End of the World tells two intertwining stories: the first is of tech billionaire Andy Ronson (Clive Owen), who invites an impressive yet eclectic group of guests to join him and his wife Lee (Marling) at a remote retreat in Iceland, where one of the visitors is quickly killed off.
The second revolves around Gen Z internet sleuth Darby Hart (Emma Corrin). Darby is present at the luxury retreat and, as we watch her try to uncover what happened to the murder victim, we flash back to her origin tale and a love story that unfolds between her and another amateur sleuth as they try to solve a case.
“The goal was to write a hot-blooded mystery,” says Marling. “I love mystery as a genre, but they tend to be cold and cerebral. I love solving a good puzzle, but we wanted to make something that was working out your mind and working out your heart, so that by the end of it you're really having all the big feels.”
While the romance brings the heat – those flashback scenes take place in the red landscapes of the American West, versus the freezing tundras of Iceland – the retreat is in many ways the kind of cold, clinical, yet expensive environment you would expect from one of the richest men in tech. It even comes equipped with its own AI assistant, Ray (Edoardo Ballerini), who all the guests are able to utilise.
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Dame Harriet Walter Covers AMAZING Magazine | Issue 4

Dame Harriet Walter is renowned for her scene-stealing roles in some of TV’s biggest shows, having scored back-to-back double Emmy Award nominations for both drama and comedy thanks to her performances as the withering Lady Caroline Collingwood in HBO’s Succession and as AFC Richmond owner Rebecca’s mother, Deborah, in Apple TV+’s Ted Lasso. Here, the award-winning Shakespearean actor talks to AMAZING about her extraordinary career, achieving global fame in her seventies and why roles for women still need to be more rounded.

There can’t be too many A-list actors, let alone ennobled ones, who would actively seek out their interviewer in a café by going up to strangers to inquire as to whether they were the person in question. However, that’s exactly what the extremely polite, self-effacing Dame Harriet Walter does on the day we meet – much to the surprise of the young woman who looks up from her laptop to see Lady Caroline Collingwood, arch matriarch of TV phenomenon Succession, smiling expectantly at her.
One of Britain’s most revered theatre actors, Walter, 73, has in recent years made a name for herself playing scene-stealing roles in a variety of television blockbusters, from Jodie Comer’s KGB handler in Killing Eve and Maggie Smith’s school friend in Downton Abbey, to Hannah Waddingham’s mother in Ted Lasso, Rebecca Ferguson’s mentor in Silo and even a cameo in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
But it is her masterful performance as Lady Caroline, arguably the world’s worst mother to three mixed-up adult children in smash hit Succession, about the dysfunctional Roy media clan, that has catapulted her to the attention of the masses – a turn of events that a bemused Walter is still coming to terms with.
“Well, there’s a lot more recognition, you do get that,” she concedes, once we locate each other and are settled in a quiet corner of the café near her home in west London, where she lives with her American actor husband Guy Paul. How does she find that? “A mixed blessing because there is something flattering about people noticing you and remembering you; that’s nice, but it can have its downsides, particularly around here where I’m trying to buy a loaf of bread in my pyjamas. I can’t do that anymore,” she laughs. “I’ve just been in Budapest and Istanbul and got spotted. They rush over and say, ‘Can I have a selfie?’ Honestly, I’m not complaining. It does alter the quality and quantity of job offers and I don’t have to audition anymore; usually now people know if they want you or they don’t. That makes life easier.”
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Romola Garai Covers AMAZING Magazine | Issue 4

Best known for her award-winning turns in mostly period films, the British actor and director is intent on mixing it up – starting with her new role in the second series of BBC One’s hugely popular Vigil. She talks to AMAZING about drone warfare, sticking to her feminist guns, making her name as a director and why she refuses to work in Hollywood.

When Romola Garai casually mentions during our chat for AMAZING that she’s been acting for more than half her life, we almost don’t believe her. It has, in fact, been 23 years since this BAFTA and Golden Globe-nominated British actor started working professionally aged 18, when she was cast in the TV film The Last of the Blonde Bombshells, playing Dame Judi Dench’s younger incarnation. She was still at school when she secured the part and has worked almost continuously ever since, captivating audiences in a succession of largely period dramas, ranging from I Capture the Castle and Nicholas Nickelby to Atonement and The Hour and, more recently, The Miniaturist and The Windermere Children.
Although this roll-call of historical dramas is by no means exhaustive and Garai, now 41, has proved her versatility in different genres, including sci-fi, she is the first to admit that she’s somewhat cornered the market in British war or post-war films. Her casting in the upcoming feature One Life, based on the humanitarian Nicholas Winton who saved hundreds of children from the Nazis on the eve of WWII, being a case in point.
Today, however, she tells me she’s ready to change things up – her latest role proving the perfect vehicle for the actor to show us just how thoroughly 21st century she can be. Garai stars in series two of Vigil, the first series of which was the most-watched new drama on UK television when it aired on BBC One in 2021. Suranne Jones returns as DCI Amy Silva, along with Rose Leslie’s DS Kirsten Longacre, but instead of conducting their investigation in the claustrophobic corridors of a Trident nuclear submarine, the pair look to the skies this time as they set out to catch a killer at a Scottish air base and become enmeshed in the secret world of drone warfare.


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Gugu Mbatha-Raw Covers AMAZING Magazine | Issue 4

Gugu Mbatha-Raw opens up to her writer friend, Afua Hirsch, about growing up in rural Oxfordshire, navigating Hollywood’s preconceptions of British actors and leaning into the fun side of fashion.

International award-winning actor Gugu Mbatha-Raw and acclaimed writer and broadcaster Afua Hirsch first met at an industry event in London a couple of years ago. They bonded immediately, recognising each other as “kindred spirits''. While their respective jobs require them to dip into the glamorous side of the entertainment industry from time to time, neither of them takes the trappings of fame too seriously. “Grounded” is a word they both use to describe their approach to life – and to success - with Mbatha-Raw citing friendship as one of the key anchors for her. It’s clear from their conversation together for AMAZING that these two creative powerhouses share a relaxed, easy friendship, full of warmth, humour and mutual respect.
Mbatha-Raw, 40, who trained at London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and was awarded an MBE for services to drama in 2017, is one of Britain’s most versatile and in-demand stage and screen actors. She made her West End and Broadway debut as Ophelia in Hamlet in 2009 and was nominated for the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actress for her performance in Jessica Swale’s 2015 play Nell Gwynn. She won the British Independent Film Award for Best Actress for her breakthrough role in the 2013 British period drama Belle and, more recently, has appeared in films Misbehaviour and Summerland as well as hit series The Morning Show (starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon) and psychological thriller Surface.
Mbatha-Raw, who now lives back in the UK after spending a few years in LA, reprises her role as Ravonna Renslayer in the second season of Marvel Studios’ TV series Loki, and also stars in upcoming action comedy film, Lift, opposite Kevin Hart.
Award-winning, London-based journalist Hirsch, 42, is the author of the Sunday Times 2018 bestseller, Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging, which explores Black history, culture and politics. Her new book, Decolonising My Body: A Radical Exploration of Rituals and Beauty, charts her year-long journey of radical unlearning as she examines the effects of Eurocentric beauty standards on individual and collective notions of body image.
The day after Hirsch’s book launch at London’s Africa Centre, which Mbatha-Raw attended, the two friends met up over Zoom to discuss the actor’s British/South-African heritage, how she navigates Hollywood preconceptions, what it means to her, personally, to be a global goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and how she manages to keep it real.
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Zawe Ashton Covers AMAZING Magazine | Issue 4

Actor, author, playwright and new mum Zawe Ashton adds another string to her bow: supervillain. As she joins the Marvel Cinematic Universe, she tells AMAZING about her love of poetry, getting physical on the set of The Marvels and the unwavering support of her own parents.

Zawe Ashton is no stranger to playing the antagonist. From her very first film role as rude schoolgirl Bianca in 2009’s St Trinian's 2: The Legend Of Fritton's Gold, to playing the intimidatingly cool Violet “Vod” Nordstrom in four seasons of student sitcom Fresh Meat and – more recently - as the rejected Julia Thistlewaite in 2022 period drama, Mr. Malcolm’s List, Ashton has a knack for taking on characters who appear unlikeable on paper… and making audiences fall in love with them. However, for her latest role as Dar-Benn in The Marvels, she had to go full villain.
“Very little can prepare you to have to embody an antagonist at this level, in a Universe that is literally not known to anyone – like our Space - and to make it real and impactful,” says the London-born actor, a new recruit to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “There's something deeply humbling about having to return to the sandbox; you have to go back to the playground and that was something I was not expecting. You have to indulge in adult play and it’s surprisingly vulnerable. I know that there are gamers out there, there are cosplayers out there, there are adults who have managed to keep that level of childlike play going and I respect it so much. There's a self-consciousness that can take over if you are not careful. Trying to react realistically to a laser coming towards you is not something I’d done since I was seven years old, and I had to get to that level of childlike confidence to just delve into the imagination. Once that was all clearer, the villainous elements came so much from the physical world, with costume and hair.”
For 39-year-old Ashton, adult play will likely become a more frequent fixture in her life, thanks to her most exciting new role – as a mother. She welcomed her first child in 2022 with fiancé Tom Hiddleston, her co-star in the 2019 revival of Harold Pinter's Betrayal on London’s West End, later transferred to Broadway. “What has genuinely surprised me about motherhood is how much I don't feel ready to talk about it,” she laughs. “And this isn’t to shut down the conversation. I have gained so much insight from public people who have this incredible candour and this disarming, relatable dialogue about it very early on, but it's something that I am just dedicating time to absorbing. I’m listening rather than expelling energy. That genuinely has surprised me, because it's something you want to shout from the rooftops about; it's the most unparalleled, most important role in my life. The surprise has been how quiet I want to be about it. Maybe that's also me as a writer and this is something that will come through the pen at some point.”
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Jennifer Connelly Covers AMAZING MAGAZINE | The Inaugural Issue

Jennifer Connelly wears Louis Vuitton Cruise 2022, by her friend Nicolas Ghesquière, for issue 1 of AMAZING magazine. The Top Gun: Maverick star talks to AMAZING editor Jennifer Lynn about friendship, fashion and facing her fears.

Jennifer Connelly is many things to many people; muse to Louis Vuitton creative director Nicolas Ghesquière, co-star to Tom Cruise in the upcoming Top Gun: Maverick and mom to three kids who she’s raising with husband, Paul Bettany. Now, Jennifer adds AMAZING magazine’s debut cover star to that list, appearing in our launch issue wearing entirely Louis Vuitton Cruise 2022.
Shot in New York by Alexi Lubomirski and styled by Patrick Mackie, Jennifer is the perfect Louis Vuitton spokesperson, but even more than that she is an advocate for creative director Nicolas Ghesquière – her friend of 20 years. The two first met when Nicolas dressed Jennifer for the 2002 Academy Awards, the year she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role as Alicia Nash in A Beautiful Mind.
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