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 and Tyler Perry's For Colored Girls, an adaptation of the 1976 play of the same name. Thompson gained favorable notices for her early film roles in the comedy-drama Dear White People, and as civil rights activist Diane Nash in Ava DuVernay's historical drama Selma. She gained mainstream attention for her roles in franchise films, playing Bianca Taylor in the sport drama Creed, Creed II and Creed III, and as Valkyrie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero films Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Endgame, and Thor: Love and Thunder, as well as her leading role in Men in Black: International.