Who Are Tessa Thompson’s Parents? A Look at Her Early Life & Age
Tessa Thompson, a biracial American actress, was born to parents of different ethnic backgrounds. Born in the 1980s, she grew up during a racially charged time.
Her parents, however, raised her to be strong. Her mother, in particular, raised her to be proud of her origins.
Interesting Read: Does Tessa Thompson Have a Husband? Inside Her Dating History
Read the full article to know about Tessa Thompson's parents, her early life, upbringing, and age.
Who is Tessa Thompson?
Beginning her career in theatre with appearances in the productions of Romeo and Juliet and The Tempest, Tessa got her career breakthrough in 2009 with the American drama film, Mississippi Damned, in which she played the character Katy Peterson.
Now, the Los Angeles native boasts an illustrious resume having had acted in movies such as For Colored Girls, Sorry To Bother You, Little Woods, Annihilation, Sylvie's Love, Dear White People, Selma, Creed series (including Creed III), Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Endgame, Men in Black: International, Thor: Love and Thunder, and Passing.
On the television front, Tessa is known for starring as Jackie Cook on Veronica Mars, Lauren Washington on Detriot 1-8-7, Sarah Freeman on Copper, and Charlotte Hale/Dolores Abernathy on Westworld.
In May 2023, she was cast in the upcoming comedy film, The Invite, which is based on the Spanish hit comedy film, Sentimental.
How old is Tessa Thompson?
Born on 3 October 1983 (age 39) in Los Angeles, California, Tessa has a younger half-sister from her father's past relationship.
Her sister is none other than singer and songwriter Zsela.
Who Are Tessa Thompson’s Parents?
Her parents are Marc Anthony Thompson and Maciallah Thompson. They raised her between Los Angeles and Brooklyn.
Marc, a musician and the founder of Cholocate Genius Inc., a musical collective, is Afro-Panamian. He has scored music for productions such as Shut Up and Dribble (2018) and Rodney (2017).
Her mother Maciallah, also known as Maria, on the other hand, is half-Mexican and half-white with some European ancestry. She is a painter and sculptor.
Thompson’s grandfather, Bobby Ramos, is of Mexican descent. He was, and still is a performer — he is an actor and musician. He has three acting credits on IMDb, with the latest one coming in 2020 on Tar.
And he was often the only performer around during his time. Thompson said he had “a real pressure” to adapt to an only English-speaking society.
Due to this, he did not want Maciallah to even speak Spanish.
While growing up, Thompson split her time between Los Angeles and Brooklyn. She grew up listening to her father play around with instruments in his studio.
During her interview with Embrace You magazine, she gushed about how her father was a gifted storyteller, lyrically speaking.
He might have also nudged her towards acting. She noticed he used to adopt a character on stage.
Further, he also used to make her the subject of his home videos. These left an impression on a young Thompson who then started to drag her little sister into little scenes she wrote.
She became interested in linguistics, which eventually brought her to acting. She started with theater acting, then moved to cinematic projects with Veronica Mars being her breakthrough job.
Tessa Thompson’s Mother Taught her to Be Proud of her Blackness
Thompson’s mother is not black. But she understood the importance of being proud of one’s heritage.
And that is exactly what she instilled in her daughter. During her speech at the 11th annual ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood luncheon in 2018, Thompson said her mother taught her to be proud of being a Black woman.
Further, the Thor actress also mentioned that her mother gave her enough room to explore her identity and provided her with enough guidance in figuring herself out.
Talking about her experience in school, she said, “She told me that my broad features and my brown skin looked beautiful when classmates did their best to convince me otherwise.”
Ending her speech, she said she aspired to be brave because her mother wanted that.
Now, she has not just one mother, but two. Her parents divorced when she was young, and her father Marc married Kate Sterlin, a photographer and writer.
They both have inspired her and her half-sister Zsela to be kinder to themselves and “cherish the skin” they were in.
Tessa regards her Mother as a True Friend
Talking to HarparsBazaar in April 2023 on the occasion of Mother's Day, Tessa shared about her year-long friendship with her mother Maciallah Thompson, also known as Maria.
As a child, so much about your relationship has to do with your parent either fulfilling or not fulfilling your needs. As an adult, you both have to relearn the terms of the relationship and how to meet each other's needs. You have to caretake each other. Obviously we're mother and daughter, but we're also women with lives outside of each other and experiences the other person doesn’t know about. We're choosing to be friends and to share those experiences. Our relationship really deepened when we acknowledged that.
The mother-daughter duo, who both are into Kprean-spa, are open to role reversal when they need suggestions and learning from one another.
And Maria is proud that he daughter is a strong independent woman who doesn't seek external validation.
"As she gets older and changes, I've learned to be curious, listen more, and try to see the world through her eyes," the proud mother said.
Tessa also has a lot of gratitude towards her mother who she credits for teaching "that you need to take care of yourself too and that meeting your own needs isn’t selfish."
Her mother was also her early ticket into the world of glamour was the picture of her mother doing modeling in her teenage years.
She shared, "When I was a kid I found these proof sheets from when my mom did some modeling as a teenager," she says. "My earliest ideas around beauty, glamour, and womanhood came from seeing those early images of my mom looking."