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Why Janelle From The Whole Truth Looks So Familiar

The courtroom drama "The Whole Truth" is now streaming on Netflix, giving subscribers the chance to check out Keanu Reeves and Renee Zellweger on screen together for the first time. The suspenseful thriller has plenty of twists and turns to keep the audience guessing, and the shocking conclusion is one that they likely won't see coming. Criminal defense lawyer Ramsey (Reeves) must prove the innocence of teenager Mike (Gabriel Basso), who is on trial for the murder of his father, who also happened to be Ramsey's good friend, Boone (Jim Belushi).

Ramsey has help from Janelle Brady, a former law student who agrees to assist him with the case. Believing there is more to the story than meets the eye, Janelle challenges Ramsey to put aside his personal feelings to get to the truth. If you're wondering why the actor who plays Janelle looks so familiar, she's played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and you've probably seen her in one of her many television and film roles.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw started out on British TV

Gugu Mbatha-Raw is an Oxford, England native, and got her start in British television. One of her early roles was a part in the spy thriller series, "MI-5," (also known as "Spooks" in the U.K.) where she played Jenny, the nanny for chief agent Adam Carter's (Rupert Perry-Jones) son. The two had a brief affair that ultimately ended due to tragic circumstances.

"Doctor Who" fans may also remember Raw as Tish Jones, the sister of Martha Jones (Freema Aygeman), who was the Doctor's companion on Season 3 of the series. When we first see Tish, she is on the phone with Martha just before the hospital disappears in "Smith and Jones." In Episode 6, "The Lazarus Experiment", Tish is the PR head for Professor Richard Lazarus (Mark Gatiss), whose machine that was meant to make him younger ends up turning him into a monster. Tish and her family were later held prisoner by the Master in "The Last of the Time Lords," but were saved by Martha and the Doctor.

Raw was also featured in one of the most critically acclaimed episodes of the Netflix sci-fi anthology series, "Black Mirror." "San Junipero" told the story of a simulated reality inhabited by the elderly and those who have passed on. Within the simulation, a shy and timid Yorkie (Mackenzie Davis) meets the outgoing and vivacious Kelly (Raw), and the two begin a tumultuous romance. While their families threaten to keep them apart, both Kelly and Yorkie do what they must to ensure they get their happily ever after.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw acted with Tom Hanks in "Larry Crowne"

The 2011 romantic comedy "Larry Crowne" tells the story of a middle aged man getting a second chance at a new beginning. Tom Hanks (who also produced, directed, and co-wrote the film) plays Larry, who — after being fired from his job — enlists into college for the first time. There he meets Professor Mercedes Tainot (Julia Roberts), a speech instructor who suffers from an unhappy marriage and a lack of motivation for a job that she once was passionate about. Larry falls for Mercedes, but she mistakenly believes that Larry has a romantic relationship with a much younger student, Talia.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw plays Talia, one of Larry's classmates who invites Larry to join in the college's scooter club. Talia also gives Larry a much-needed makeover, helping him to boost his confidence and have a renewed outlook on life. Talia later reassures Mercedes that she and Larry are just friends, much to Mercedes's relief, and Larry and Mercedes find happiness together by the movie's end.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw played the title role in the award-winning "Belle"

Gugu Mbatha-Raw got her first starring role in the feature film "Belle", which tells the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the daughter of an African slave and a British naval officer. In the 18th century period film, Dido is raised by her great aunt and uncle alongside a cousin, Elizabeth Murray (Sarah Gadon). Although she is considered a free woman, Dido struggles with her status in society due to her mixed race.

Dido's guardian Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson), a lawyer, takes on the infamous Gregson vs. Gilbert case — also known as the Zong massacre, in which hundreds of African slaves on an overcrowded ship suffered from disease and starvation. The ship's captain had the dying slaves thrown overboard, and later attempted to claim insurance for the loss. When she hears about this terrible event, Dido assists her great-uncle with the case. While working together with Murray, she meets his pupil, John Davinier (Sam Reid), and the two fall madly in love. The situation is complicated, however, because her great-uncle refuses to allow them to marry — not to mention that Dido is engaged to another man.

"Belle" was a critical success and was nominated for many awards, as was Raw for her impressive performance. She won Best Actress at the British Independent Film Awards and the Black Reel Awards, and was nominated for Best Newcomer in the Empire Awards and Most Promising Performer by the Chicago Film Critics Association.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw was drawn to the theme of female empowerment in "A Wrinkle in Time"

The 2018 film adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle's classic fantasy novel, "A Wrinkle in Time," was a magical journey that featured a diverse cast and entertaining family viewing. The movie, directed by Ava Duvernay, starred a powerhouse cast that included Chris Pine, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, and many others.

"A Wrinkle in Time" tells the story of the Murry family, centered around 13-year-old Meg (Storm Reid) and her brother Charles (Deric McCabe), who are struggling with the disappearance of their father, Alex (Pine). Alex, an astrophysicist, had disappeared years before after an intense study into the possibility of interdimensional space travel. When the siblings meet the mysterious, other-worldly beings known as Mrs. Who (Kaling), Mrs. Whatsit (Witherspoon,) and Mrs. Which (Winfrey), they are taken on a wild adventure in an effort to rescue their father. 

Gugu Mbatha-Raw plays Dr. Kate Murry, Alex's wife and Meg and Charles's mother, and a brilliant microbiologist. Before the film's release, Raw sat down to talk about her role and what drew her to the film. "I really responded to the empowering and spiritual element to the story," Raw said (via YouTube/Mulderville). "I just read it and thought 'wow, what a beautiful story, and what a great heroine for young girls to look up to.'"