Jurassic World Dominion is in theaters and DeWanda Wise is one of its leading women.
Returning to the big screen to once again go head-to-head with the prehistoric, is Chris
Pratt, Jeff Goldblum, Laura Dern, Sam Neil, and Bryce Dallas Howard. In addition, some new faces are joining the team, such as Mamoudou Athie and Wise. In the third Jurassic World film, Wise plays former Air Force pilot Kayla Watts.
You might recognize Wise from her various other TV and film roles, most notably as the star of Spike Lee’s series She’s Gotta Have It which aired on Netflix for two seasons from 2017 to 2019, before being canceled. Some of her other credits include the comedy movie The Weekend, and the Netflix rom-com Someone Great. She also starred alongside Kevin Hart and Alfre Woodard in the 2021 comedy-drama film Fatherhood.
Learn more about this powerhouse actress and her illustrious career.
She was supposed to star in 'Captain Marvel'
Wise was originally cast in the role of Maria Rambeau, best friend to Brie Larson and the founder of S.W.O.R.D. in the 2019 Marvel Studios film, Captain Marvel. But Wise was forced to leave the role due to scheduling conflicts involving the filming of the second season of She’s Gotta Have It.
“It wasn’t a choice,” Wise told Collider. “I committed to She’s Gotta Have It. When you commit to something, you commit to it. And it just so happened that when they decided to essentially expand the role in Captain Marvel a little longer, a little larger, it conflicted with a very specific moment that we were shooting in Season 2, a very special episode that we shot that I would not trade for anything in the world when we shot in Puerto Rico.”
The actress went on to admit that not being able to do the role was a painful experience but that she doesn’t regret it. Wise also praised the actress who ended up in the role, Lashana Lynch. “And also not for nothing, Lashana Lynch, y’all,” stated Wise. “She’s so good! So you’re welcome!”
She wrote a short film
Along with acting, Wise is also an experienced screenwriter. She was credited as a writer of a 2016 short film titled, Where You Go. The 20-minute short was directed by Paul Urcioli, written by DeWanda Wise, and produced by Lauren Hines. Where You Go is about a young couple living in New York. The film chronicles a weekend in the couple’s lives, showing them struggle as they deal with the hand they were dealt. The film premiered at the Cannes Short Film Corner.
She began her acting career on stage
A graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Wise started her acting career on the stage and has performed in many theatrical productions. Wise originated the role of Nina in Dominique Morisseau’s Sunset Baby, receiving critical acclaim from the likes of The New York Times, The Village Voice, and The New Yorker. Wise has also played Susan in the west coast premiere of David Mamet’s Race, the character Mercy in Flight, and Abigail in Danai Gurira’s debut play In the Continuum.
In an interview with Shondaland, Wise revealed that she never envisioned herself becoming a big name in films—she always thought she’d be more of a theater and independent film actress.
“When I graduated from NYU, most of the roles I saw for myself were in theater and independent films,” Wise said. “I was like, ‘Cool, I’m going to be an indie darling, and I’m going to star in some regional, off-Broadway stuff.’ Wise goes on to explain how roles for women who look like her have gotten “better and better,” giving her more opportunities to expand her acting career.
Wise starred in a series with her husband
Wise is married to actor and producer, Alano Miller. The couple tied the knot in 2009 after three months of dating. Miller is best known for his role as Cato on the WGN America drama series Underground. Both Wise and Alano were in the TV series, Miller for 20 episodes and Wise for 5. The series ran from 2016 to 2017 and was canceled after two seasons. The show was about the Underground Railroad in Antebellum Georgia and chronicled the struggle for freedom for a group of slaves.
She's a award recipient and nominee
Wise is a Tisch Scholar Award recipient, the Atlantic Achievement in Studio Award recipient, and the BFA Representative of her graduating class of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Wise has also received two nominations for the Black Reel Award for Television. In 2017, she was put into nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress for the limited TV series Shots Fired. In 2019, she got a nomination for Outstanding Actress for her role as Nola Darling in She’s Gotta Have It.