Amandla Stenberg is an American actress known for her supporting role in the science fiction adventure film ‘The Hunger Games’. The film, which was directed by Gary Ross, became a huge success internationally and received multiple awards. It also helped Amanda achieve mainstream fame. Despite not having a background in acting themselves, her parents encouraged her to enter the show business at an early age. She began her career as a child model and eventually made her foray into acting. After playing minor roles in a few commercials, TV shows, and films, she got a breakthrough with a role in the film ‘The Hunger Games.’ Following the success of the movie, she went on to act in numerous other film and TV productions. More recently, she played the lead role in the romantic drama film ‘Everything, Everything’ which was a commercial success and grossed nearly three times its budget. She also appeared in famed singer Beyoncé’s music video ‘Lemonade.’ In 2018, she is set to appear in the science fiction thriller ‘The Darkest Mind’ in the lead role. She will also star in the drama film ‘The Hate U Give’.
Childhood & Early Life
Amandla Stenberg was born on 23 October 1998 in Los Angeles, California, to Tom Stenberg and Karen Brailsford. She has two older half-sisters from her father’s side. Her father is Danish while her mother is African American.
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Amandla Stenberg began her career appearing in commercials. She made her film debut in 2011 in the French action film ‘Columbiana’. Directed by Olivier Megaton, the film revolved around a nine-year-old girl whose family is killed by a drug lord named Don Luis Sandoval. Stenberg played a minor role in the movie. The film was a modest commercial success, grossing nearly $61 million on a $35 million budget.
She came to international popularity the following year, for her role in the 2012 dystopian science fiction film ‘The Hunger Games’. Directed by Gary Ross, the film was a critical and commercial success. It grossed nearly $700 million on a budget of $78 million. The film was praised by critics and received multiple awards and nominations.
The movie included actors, such as Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, and Elizabeth Banks in addition to Amandla. It won Stenberg a ‘Teen Choice Award’ for Choice Chemistry, which she shared with Jennifer Lawrence. She was also nominated for a ‘Black Reel Award’ for Best Breakthrough Performance and the ‘NAACP Image Award’ for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture.
She appeared in a documentary film ‘The World is Watching: Making the Hunger Games’ in late 2012. She was then seen in the TV film ‘A Taste of Romance’. From 2013 to 2014, she appeared in the TV series ‘Sleepy Hollow’.
In 2014, she played a voice role in the animated musical comedy film ‘Rio 2’. The film was directed by Carlos Saldanha. Other voice actors in the film included Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, Jemaine Clement, and Kristin Chenoweth. The film, which was made on a budget of around $100 million, became a huge commercial success, grossing around $500 million worldwide. The film was met with average reviews from critics. The next year, she was seen in a few episodes of the TV series ‘Mr Robinson’.
Since 2013, she has also been playing violin as well as singing at Los Angeles venues along with Zander Hawley, a singer and songwriter. They released an EP in 2015. In 2015 and 2016, she was included in the list of ‘Most Influential Teens’ by TIME magazine. She was also a co-writer of the comic book ‘Niobe: She is Life’.
In 2016, she played an important role in the drama film ‘As You Are’. Written and directed by Miles Joris-Peyrafitte, the film was shown at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Special Jury Award. The same year, she also appeared in Beyonce’s music video ‘Lemonade’, which won her a ‘BET YoungStar Award.’
More recently, she played the lead role in the romantic drama film ‘Everything, Everything’. Directed by Stella Meghie, the film was based on a young adult novel of the same name by Nicole Yoon. It earned more than six times its budget and was met with average reviews.
‘The Hunger Games,’ a dystopian science fiction thriller film which was released in 2012, is undoubtedly one of the most important works in Amandla Stenberg’s career. The story takes place in the future in a country named Panem where a teenage boy and a girl from each district must take part in “The Hunger Games,” which is an annual event where the teenagers are forced to fight till only one survivor remains. The film was a commercial success and was also praised by the critics.
She played the lead role in the romantic drama film ‘Everything, Everything’. Directed by Stella Meghie, the film also starred Nick Robinson, Anika Noni Rose, Ana de la Reguera and Taylor Hickson. The story revolves around a girl, who, due to an illness, can’t go outside her house, and her neighbor Olly, who wants to help her. The film did well commercially, earning $61 million on a $10 million budget.
Awards & Achievements
Amandla Stenberg won the Teen Choice Award for ‘Choice Chemistry’ for her role in ‘The Hunger Games’ in 2012.
She won the ‘BET YoungStar Award’ for her appearance in the music video ‘Lemonade’.
She was declared one of the Most Influential Teens by TIME Magazine in 2015 and 2016.
Amandla Stenberg is bisexual. She is currently single. Previously, she had dated Jaden Smith for around a year.
She is an outspoken feminist and was named "Feminist of the Year" by the Ms. Foundation for Women in 2015.