Tessa Lynne Thompson is an American actress. She began her professional acting career with the Los Angeles Women's Shakespeare Company while studying at Santa Monica College. She appeared in productions of The Tempest and Romeo and Juliet, the latter of which earned her a NAACP Theatre Award nomination. Her breakthrough came with leading roles in Tina Mabry's independent drama film Mississippi Damned (2009) and Tyler Perry's drama film For Colored Girls (2010). Thompson gained favorable critical notice for her performances in the comedy-drama Dear White People (2014), as civil rights activist Diane Nash in the historical drama Selma (2014), and as Bianca Taylor in the sport drama films Creed (2015) and Creed II (2018). She gained mainstream recognition for her starring role as Valkyrie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero films Thor: Ragnarok (2017) and Avengers: Endgame (2019). She also had roles in films such as the dark comedy Sorry to Bother You (2018), the crime thriller Little Woods (2018), the science-fiction horror film Annihilation (2018), the science fiction action film Men in Black: International (2019), the musical romance Lady and the Tramp (2019), and the romantic drama Sylvie's Love (2020). On television, she starred in the noir drama series Veronica Mars (2005–2006), the drama series Copper (2012–2013), and the science fiction series Westworld (2016–present).