Tessa Thompson discusses using her platform to raise the voices of others, the significance of producing and starring in a film that centres on two Black lead characters, and more in a new interview.

Thompson, who is followed by the likes of Oprah Winfrey on Twitter, says while chatting to NET-A-PORTER’s digital title, Porter: “I don’t think any artist necessarily has a responsibility to try being an agent of change. But, for me, it’s always been something that feels compelling. And if there’s a risk in speaking up, it’s always felt worth it. I’m just continuing to try to learn how to show up in those spaces and to pass the mic to folks who know a lot more than me.”

Credit: Shaniqwa Jarvis/Porter
Credit: Shaniqwa Jarvis/Porter

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When asked whether the risk of losing out on jobs has ever deterred her from taking a stance, Thompson replies: “Anyone who wouldn’t want to work with me because I’m a person at this time fighting [that] the value and dignity of Black lives need to be protected… I really don’t want to work with them. It’s my life and it’s important that my core values line up with my creative ecosystem.”

Credit: Shaniqwa Jarvis/Porter
Credit: Shaniqwa Jarvis/Porter

The actress talks about her upcoming project, Eugene Ashe’s “Sylvie’s Love”, in which she not only takes centre stage but also works as an executive producer.

“When I first heard about ‘Sylvie’s Love’ and had conversations with Nnamdi [Asomugha] about making it, it reminded me of ‘The Notebook’. I remember seeing that way back in the day and thinking, I’d love to be in a film like this.

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Thompson says of the significance of this movie being made now: “To make a film that centres around two Black people falling in love felt really impactful to me.

“I think even in these moments of peril and pain, it shows we’re still having dinner, we’re still celebrating, we’re still singing songs, we’re still making love and doing all the other things that we do as humans to sustain us.”