British actress, playwright and narrator Zawe Ashton graces the cover of the October 29th, 2023 issue of Sunday Times Style. Photographed by Arran Critchley and Julia Linkogel (Arran & Jules), Ashton embodies elegance in a sleek Nanushka trench coat, paired with sophisticated Jimmy Choo shoes and classic Wolford tights, presented in a striking black and white composition.
In the accompanying cover story, ‘’The Marvels’’ star’s sartorial choices are meticulously assembled by stylist Victoria Bain, who highlights a curated selection of garments from esteemed labels such as Miu Miu, Wardrobe NYC, A.W.A.K.E. Mode, Rejina Pyo, Versace and Ferragamo. The visual feast continues with Ashton’s hair, expertly styled by Tomi Roppongi, and flawless make-up application by Kirstin Piggott, complemented by a flawless manicure by Saffron Goddard. The entire production is seamlessly pulled together by the team at 2DM Production.
Inside the magazine, Zawe Ashton candidly shares her unique wellness practices and journey to stardom. “Apparently there’s a wonderful gong bong in Margate,” she enthuses, urging the exploration of gong baths and detailing her experiences with cocoa ceremonies. Ashton’s rise in the acting world has been steady and impressive, starting with her memorable role as Vod in ‘’Fresh Meat’’ (2011-2016).
Ashton’s career has seen her share the stage with fiancé Tom Hiddleston in Harold Pinter’s “Betrayal” and diversify her portfolio with roles in “Velvet Buzzsaw” and “Mr. Malcolm’s List.” Now she enters the world of superhero blockbusters with “The Marvels,” playing the villainous Dar-Benn opposite Brie Larson. The film is a notable project with Nia DaCosta at the helm, marking a milestone as the youngest and first black woman to direct a Marvel film.
Reflecting on her upbringing in Hackney, Ashton acknowledges the relentless nature of Hollywood, yet remains grounded in her roots. With nearly three decades in the industry, she has witnessed the ups and downs of fame. Ashton recalls her early days as an actress, the impact of bullying during her school years, and the pride she feels in her Ugandan heritage.
The actress also opens up about personal challenges, including her mother’s battle with cancer during Ashton’s transition to acting school. Despite these hardships, she emphasizes the value of sacrifice and determination, attributes that have fueled her success.
Ashton has made a name for herself not only as an actress, but also as a writer, director, and new mother. She maintains a sense of privacy around her family life, which she shares with Hiddleston and their first child, choosing to focus on the transformative nature of motherhood.
However, Ashton does not shy away from addressing the issues within her industry. In her 2019 autobiographical novel, Character Breakdown, she exposes the dark side of acting, from exploitation to the persistent issues of sexism and racism. Ashton advocates for empowerment and mentorship, especially for emerging female directors and actors of color, using her platform to inspire and challenge the status quo.
In the end, Ashton reflects on her journey with gratitude and a sense of accomplishment. Life, as she describes it, is pretty good, with a loving family, a thriving career, and the ability to give back to the industry that shaped her. She has climbed the proverbial mountain and found contentment, not in the relentless pursuit of success, but in the stability and joy of the present moment.