Film

Sophie Okonedo Looks Absolutely Boss as Queen Margaret in 'The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses'

Sophie Okonedo stars as Queen Margaret of Anjou in the Shakespearean miniseries adaptation, airing December on PBS' Great Performances.

Sophie Okonedo, aka Sophie Okonedo OBE, is a boss. Nothing new there. But in the trailer and stills for The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses, the 48-year-old English actor is bosshood personified.


The self-described “Jewish-Nigerian-Brit” from London, who won a 2014 Tony Award for her portrayal of Ruth Younger in the Broadway revival of A Raisin In The Sun, stars as Queen Margaret of Anjou in the three-part follow-up to the 2013 BAFTA-winning Shakespearean miniseries adaptation, The Hollow Crown.

While the first Hollow Crown covered Shakespeare's second historical tetralogy, or “Henriad” (encompassing "Richard II," "Henry IV, Parts I and II" and "Henry V"), this one picks up with film versions of "Henry VI" (in two parts) and "Richard III."

Sophie Okonedo as Queen Margaret in The Hollow Crown: The War of the Roses

Okonedo appears in all three films as Margaret, a role that, as with too much of the film and television industry, has historically gone to white women.

Perhaps anticipating the racist P.O.S. that always seem to come out of the woodwork (see: the racist P.O.S. that threw a hissy fit over a black Hermione Granger), Hollow Crown director Dominic Cooke made it very clear that Okonedo was “the best person in the country” to play the part. “Her visceral power and range is so extraordinary - that’s what I was really looking for,” he told Express.co.uk back in May.

"I don’t think that you can do a piece of work that is about who we are as a society and just have white people doing it," Cooke added.

The series, which also stars Judi Dench, Benedict Cumberbatch, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Keeley Hawes and Tom Sturridge, aired on BBC this past May. It broadcasts in the U.S. over three consecutive Sundays beginning December 11 at 9pm on PBS' Great Performances.

Check out the trailer and some pretty badass images of Okonedo below.

Sophie Okonedo as Queen Margaret in The Hollow Crown: The War of the Roses

Sophie Okonedo as Queen Margaret in The Hollow Crown: The War of the Roses

H/T Shadow & Act

Style
Image: David Omigie, creative director of Daltimore, wears a contrast-panel, overlap leather jacket from Daltimore

How Nigerian Streetwear Brand, Daltimore, is Rising To Celebrity Status

We spoke with founder and creative director David Omigie about expression through clothing and that #BBNaija pic.

Backstage at her first live performance at the Big Brother Naija eviction show in July, Mavin's music starlet Ayra Starr posed for Instagram wearing a custom, ivory two-piece outfit. The 19-year-old posed wearing a slinky bandeau crop top with a metallic accent, and high waist baggy pants paired with opera fingerless gloves. The outfit is reminiscent of the same chic, carnal athleticism seen in Ayra's video for Bad Samaritan, where she wears both a custom fur coat and a monochromatic red leather outfit. Both looks are the work of Nigerian streetwear brand Daltimore.

These moments of fashion aren't happening in isolation. Streetwear has a stronghold on Nigerian youth culture, especially in Lagos, often troping around the resurgence of Y2K aesthetics that have begun to influence the buzzing profiles of Gen Z artists, fashion influencers, and entertainers. Bucket hats, crop tops, baguette bags, baggy jeans, mini skirts, and so on. Enter Daltimore, seizing the moment by signposting how these cultural pulses are intersecting. At first, the brand didn't eschew streetwear's disruptive tendencies when founded by its creative director David Omigie in 2015. The brand name is significant for David, to immortalize his late brother. Baltimore was his nickname back in high school.

This isn't the only familial death David has experienced to inspire the Daltimore footprint. The debut collection embraced simple, conservative tailoring, dashiki tunics, and shift dresses that stayed slightly loose on the body. Blending in casual touches like jeans and sneakers to keep it modern, the collection in hindsight appeared to be foreshadowing possibilities in streetwear. With a wave of terrorist attacks in Northern Nigeria and the unfair stereotyping of the region as violent and hostile, Daltimore shifted focus to the region's culture and iconography to dispel media narratives for its 2018 collection.

Translating the aridity of the North into invigorating brown close to the shade of pecan, Daltimore's 2018 collection featured clothes columned into long skirts, sleeveless kaftans with large white patch pockets, and head wraps. In finding its own design language, the brand has created a tension that sits between tradition and modernity. To that end, cowries on a zip-up leather jacket illustrate this intermingling or basketweave embellishment on a tote bag. Embracing the broader, aggressive aspects of streetwear was only a matter of time. Look at a Daltimore ensemble and there would typically be a harness looping around the wearer, vests and bomber jackets in neon colors, bags with sling chains, and velcro straps. And lots of leather.

From 2Baba, Blaqbonez, Joeboy, Fireboy DML, Dremo, Lady Donli to Toke Makinwa, Dare Art-Alade, Ric Hassani, Oxlade, Daltimore has accrued an impressive list of celebrity fans in a relatively short time. In this OkayAfrica interview, David shares his motivation for going into fashion, how he's been navigating the industry, and defines streetwear from his vantage point.

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