Height 1.66 m
Role Film actress
|Name Rutina Wesley|
Years active 2005–present
Spouse Jacob Fishel (m. 2005)
|Born February 1, 1979 (age 36) (1979-02-01) Las Vegas, Nevada, US|
Parents Cassandra Wesley, Ivery Wheeler
Education University of Evansville, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Juilliard School
Movies and TV shows True Blood, The Perfect Guy, 13 Sins, How She Move, Last Weekend
Similar People Nelsan Ellis, Sam Trammell, Anna Paquin, Jacob Fishel, Stephen Moyer
Web exclusive rutina wesley gets true backstage at the queen latifah show
Rutina Wesley (born February 1, 1979) is an American film, stage, and television actress best known for her roles as Tara Thornton on the HBO series True Blood and Nova Bordelon on the OWN series Queen Sugar.
- Web exclusive rutina wesley gets true backstage at the queen latifah show
- Rutina wesley talks true blood
- Early life and education
- Personal life
Rutina wesley talks true blood
Early life and education
Wesley was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. Her father, Ivery Wheeler, is a professional tap dancer, and her mother, Cassandra Wesley, was a showgirl. She attended high school at the Las Vegas Academy of International Studies, Performing and Visual Arts. She studied dance at Simba Studios and the West Las Vegas Arts Center.
While at the Las Vegas Academy, Wesley missed several other auditions for college training programs and was finally accepted by the University of Evansville in Indiana. She was hesitant in joining the university because of a lack of minorities in the state.
After earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Performance in 2001, her grandmother suggested that she do a nursing course, but Wesley insisted on pursuing her artistic education. She joined the Juilliard School in 2001 and graduated in May 2005 (Group 34), which included a summer spent at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. At Juilliard, she became close friends with her future co-star Nelsan Ellis (Group 33: 2000–2004).
In December 2006, Wesley was featured in David Hare's Broadway play The Vertical Hour. In 2007, Wesley also appeared in The Public Theater production of In Darfur by playwright Winter Miller, co-starring Heather Raffo, Aaron Lohr among others.
Wesley had a minor role in the 2005 film Hitch, which was edited out in the final cut. However, she made her on screen debut in the lead role in 2007 film How She Move, from British director Ian Iqbal Rashid. The character Raya Green, who enters a step dancing competition to secure funds for her education, was inspired by Tony Manero, portrayed by John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. Prior to the shooting of the film, Wesley underwent a five-week dance rehearsal period. Portraying a woman of Jamaican descent, she also took dialect coaching for the role. Wesley auditioned for the role Tara Thornton in the HBO series True Blood in 2007 and secured the part after creator Alan Ball chose her because "[she] was the first person who showed [Tara's] vulnerable side".
In June 2011, it was reported that Wesley will star in the biopic Left To Tell based on Immaculée Ilibagiza's bestselling memoir about the Rwandan Genocide.
In January 2015, it was announced that Wesley had been cast in a recurring role on NBC's critically acclaimed drama series Hannibal. She portrayed Reba McClane, "a blind woman who enters into a relationship with Francis Dolarhyde (Richard Armitage), and helps soothe his murderous urges - at least at first."
Wesley has been cast as Liza Warner in the fourth season of Arrow.
In 2016, Wesley was cast as lead character in the Oprah Winfrey Network drama series, Queen Sugar produced by Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey.
Wesley divides her time between Los Angeles and Astoria, Queens. In 2005, she married her former Juilliard classmate Jacob Fishel, an actor. Wesley filed for divorce on August 16, 2013, citing irreconcilable differences.