Tessa Thompson on campus for Q&A event

The renowned actress shared career highlights and entertainment industry advice with students.

Tessa Thompson arrives at the premiere of "Creed III" on Monday, Feb. 27, 2023, at TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles.

“Creed” star Tessa Thompson spoke at USC’s Bing Theatre Thursday discussing her experiences and answering students’ questions.

“I really enjoyed how she talked about being a multifaceted artist … and about the pressures – about trying to be a lot of everything,” freshman Daniel Shintaku said. “Definitely time management and focusing on specifically what I want to do versus what I’m needed to do, and I feel like that’s pretty universal throughout pretty much everything.”

The 3:30 p.m. event was presented by USC’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative and the School of Dramatic Arts. Because it was a closed event, available by RSVP only, the Inclusion Initiative opted not to record event content.

In addition to her work in the Creed franchise, Thompson has also appeared in the Marvel’s “Thor” franchise, “Westworld,” “Sylvie’s Love” and “Sorry to Bother You”.

The event opened with a short video highlighting Thompson’s accomplishments and gave her five titles: actor, producer, writer and performer activist. Afterwards, the actress talked about growing up near USC and some of her acting and work philosophies. Dr. Stacy L. Smith, founder of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, and SDA Dean Emily Roxworthy moderated the conversation.

Bridget Akrasi, a junior studying communication, is interested in entering the entertainment industry and said it was inspiring seeing a woman of color’s success.

“How can I navigate that when I get in the world? Especially when things get tough, how can I fight for myself … so I think it just gives me hope to see that another woman of color is here,” Akrasi said.

Chase Garcia, a freshman theater major, said that guest speaker events like these are extremely useful to her.

“She’s just a super influential performer,” Garcia said. “As a theater major myself, looking to enter that industry, I think it’s really important to listen to these other artists talk and just kind of see their perspective on how they operate through the world.”

Ashley Asante, a sophomore studying global health, said it’s important that USC students take advantage of these events.

“At USC, there’s different opportunities to explore. So like, let’s say you’re not too sure on one certain thing, you have different opportunities to explore, and like me today, exploring entertainment and drama,” Asante said.