Thandiwe Newton and Ol Parker welcomed their daughter in December 2000
Ripley was exposed to Hollywood early on as her mother is an actress who has starred in Mission: Impossible 2, Westworld and God's Country among others, and her father is the screenwriter behind hits such as Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again and Ticket to Paradise.
Two decades later and she’s forging her own career path in Tinseltown with her big break coming in 2023 when her first screenplay titled Everything Now was picked up by Netflix.
“Do I think I'm here because I'm good at what I do? Yes. Do I think I would have had the opportunity to do what I do on a professional scale without my parents’ success and influence? I have no idea. It would have taken much longer and been much harder — if it had happened at all,” she told Glamour UK while discussing the “nepo baby” stigma.
Newton and Parker are supportive of their daughter, with the All the Old Knives actress sharing in a 2010 interview that she wants her daughters “to feel empowered.”
“I think as a mom it’s important to teach your children that they’re extraordinary, powerful beings. Your job is to keep the path clear so there is nothing they can trip up on.”
Read on to learn more about Ripley Parker including how she infuses her personal life into her screenwriting and the common thread she shares with her siblings.
She was born on Dec. 17, 2000
Newton and Parker welcomed their first child, Ripley, on Dec. 17, 2000, a little over two years after tying the knot.
“I’ve been different things in different contexts, and I didn’t really feel beautiful until I had my first child,” Newton previously told The Telegraph.
With the help of a midwife, Newton gave birth to her daughter at home.
“I had just associated hospital with being ill, and I felt beautiful and healthy and wonderful when I was pregnant, and being at home is the place I felt most relaxed and comfortable,” she told the Today show.
She is named after a Sigourney Weaver character
When the former celebrity couple were choosing a moniker for their little girl, Newton took inspiration from a 1970s film.
“I named my kid Ripley after Sigourney Weaver in Aliens,” she disclosed to Vulture.
Weaver assumed the role of the film’s protagonist Ellen Ripley — who was also one of the first female action heroes on the big screen — which garnered worldwide attention and her first Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.
She is a screenwriter
Like her father, Ripley is a successful Hollywood screenwriter. In addition to creating the Netflix teen drama Everything Now, she is also working on a jukebox musical based on the music of The Smiths as well as a play about the life and relationships of poet Emily Dickinson.
She also contributed an essay to It's Not OK to Feel Blue (and Other Lies): Inspirational People Open Up About Their Mental Health in 2019. Ahead of the release, Thandiwe shared a sweet tribute to her daughter, writing, "Deeply proud of phenomenal @ripley.parker Her first published writing is a breathtaking piece in @penguin #It'sNotOKtoFeelBlueandotherlies @scarcurtis."
Politics inform her writing
When Ripley starts drafting a manuscript, politics play a significant role in shaping the narrative.
“I think it particularly informs the drive to make a really diverse show. And to have that at the very forefront of our minds while making it and casting,” she told Glamour UK about creating Everything Now.
“I think many, maybe most, of the key romantic relationships portrayed in the show are queer relationships,” she said. “But at no point does anyone need to come out or assign a label.”
“The queerness of the show, I think is a reaction to the trajectory of the world the last few years — which ain’t great. So we made what is now, I suppose, quite an idealistic show, and I think it shouldn't be idealistic at all. It should be somewhat inevitable.”
She was the inspiration behind her father’s film Ticket to Paradise
“The movie came out of a conversation I was having about Ripley, who was 18, I think, at the time and starting to make her own decisions — all of which are clearly brilliant and not necessarily the ones I’d have made for her — so it was just that thing, how much do you nudge along? How much do you try and be wise and say what you absolutely know and how much do you just lean back and give it up to them and watch the next generation rule? That was the genesis of the movie, how that came about,” he told ComingSoon.
Her sister is also in show business
Nico is also pursuing a career in the entertainment industry, but unlike her sister, in front of the camera. She made her film debut as Milly Farrier in the live-action adaptation of Disney’s Dumbo in 2019.
Following her role in Dumbo, Nico appeared on the TV series The Third Day as well as the 2021 film Reminiscence alongside her mom.
She most recently played the role of Sarah in the HBO adaptation of The Last of Us, based on the video game of the same name.
She once cursed at Boris Johnson
“She went over to say ‘Hello, Mr. Johnson, my name is Ripley and I just wanted to tell you you’re a c--t. I hope you enjoy the show,’ ” Newton recalled to the Sunday Times.
Ripley later told Glamour UK that she had no regrets about the interaction. “It was a rogue move, but it was one I would make again.”
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