Birthdate: August 22, 1991
Birthplace: London, England, United Kingdom
Naomie Ackie (birthname: Naomie Sarah Ackie) is a fast-rising, emerging British film star, having landed her first starring role as Whitney Houston in Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody (2022) after only five previous features. Ackie burst onto the feature film scene with great impact in writer-director William Ackroyd’s acclaimed Lady Macbeth (2016), starring Florence Pugh and earning Ackie kudos with a Most Promising Newcomer award from the British Independent Film Awards and double nominations (Best Newcomer and Best Supporting Actress) from the National Film Awards in the UK.
Ackie joined Idris Elba for a supporting role in his directorial debut, the British crime drama Yardie (2018), with Aml Ameen and Stephen Graham, premiering at the Sundance Film Festival. Ackie earned a supporting role in another British crime drama, The Corrupted (2019), with a cast including Sam Claflin, Timothy Spall, Noel Clarke, and Hugh Bonneville. Naomie Ackie’s first studio production was as Jannah in J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019), starring Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Domhnall Gleason, and Richard E. Grant, and grossing just $1 billion globally.
Ackie’s first co-starring role was in writer-director Malachi Smyth’s British heist movie-with-music, The Score (2021), co-starring Johnny Flynn and Will Poulter. Director Kasi Lemmons cast Ackie as Whitney Houston in the jukebox biopic I Wanna Dance with Somebody, with a supporting cast including Stanley Tucci, Ashton Sanders, Tamara Tunie, and Clarke Peters.
Ackie’s third big American-produced movie (in a co-starring role) is Oscar-winning Korean writer-director Bong Joon-ho’s highly anticipated sci-fi drama, Mickey 17 (2024), produced by Warner Bros. and starring Robert Pattinson, Steven Yeun, Toni Collette, and Mark Ruffalo, followed by Ackie’s next starring role in the MGM-backed thriller, Pussy Island (date to be announced), with Zoë Kravitz in her debut as director/co-writer/co-producer guiding a cast including Channing Tatum, Simon Rex, Christian Slater, Geena Davis, Adria Arjona, Haley Joel Osment, Kyle MacLachlan, Alia Shawcat, and Saul Williams.
Naomie Ackie was born in the Camden borough of London and raised in Walthamstow in the eastern end of Greater London by a father who worked for Transport for London and a mother who worked for the National Health Service who were both second-generation immigrants from Grenada. Ackie has two older siblings, a brother, and a sister.
Her elementary education was at Walthamstow School for Girls, where she first performed on stage in school plays. Her growing interest in acting led her to study at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, attached to the University of London. Ackie’s height is 5’ 6”.
Theatre Streak: Before her great success on screen, Naomie Ackie had a fine run on the English stage, with roles at the National Theatre, and such London-based theaters as the Greenwich Theatre, Theatre Centre, Soho Theatre, Unicorn Theatre, and Theatre Delicatessan.