Absolutely Everything About Nina Sosanya Isn’t Very Much – Updated

Nina Sosanya

Many people want to know more about Nina Sosanya. It’s hard to learn much about her. Nina Sosanya is either illusive or not interested in fame. Whatever her reasons for being shy about seeking the spotlight, information on her is hard to find. 

Nina Sosanya in Love, Actually
What? You want to know something about me?

I wrote to her manager and asked if I could interview her by email. No answer.

I decided to put together anything I could find about her in a compilation of information. I hope the information answers some of your questions, but it certainly didn’t answer all of mine.

The Facts

Nina Sosanya was born in 1969, so she’s about 47 years old. She was born in England. She’s worked in theater, film and TV since 1992, according to  IMDB. Since IMDB only lists TV and film credits and not earlier theater credits, it’s safe to say that she’s been a working actress for even longer than the years since 1992.

Her father is Nigerian – a true fact that crept into her character description in Last Tango in Halifax. She trained at Northern School of Contemporary Dance in England.

Jeffery Kissoon and Nina Sosanya in National Theatre production of Fix Up
Jeffery Kissoon and Nina Sosanya in National Theatre production of Fix Up

After college, she joined the Royal Shakespeare Company. One of her first breaks came when she got a part in Anthony and Cleopatra at the National Theatre.

She’s done a lot of theater work with the Royal Shakespeare Company, including Love’s Labour’s Lost as Rosaline.

She was in Teachers with Andrew Lincoln on TV. Later she was in Love, Actually, where Andrew Lincoln also had a part before he came to the US and started chasing after The Walking Dead.

Nina Sosanya in W1A
Nina Sosanya in W1A

She’s been in The Jury,  Prime Suspect 2, Sorted, Cape Wrath as well as the more recent satire W1A and the drama Last Tango in Halifax.

Nina recently worked opposite David Tennant in a short film called 96 Ways to Say I Love You and will be in a TV movie called The Vote as well as a new mini-series called Asylum.

What We Don’t Know

There’s so much we don’t know. She has no web site, no Twitter account, no Facebook page.There’s so much we don’t know. She has no web site, no Twitter account, no Facebook page. We don’t know if she’s married, if she lives in London, if she has 3 dogs and a cockatiel running about her house or if she has a family. We don’t know if she lives on a farm and breeds Icelandic ponies in her spare time. We don’t know one personal thing about her. [Ed.: Thanks to a commenter, we now know she lives in London with a long-term boyfriend.]

In this day and age, it’s amazing that she manages to maintain such a level of privacy.

Crossing the Pond

Nina Sosanya has a rather amazing list of credits as an English actress. I became aware of her in a big way when I fell madly in love with Last Tango in Halifax. She’s apparently affected other Americans in the same way since that particular show has crossed the pond and engaged American audiences. If you look at YouTube, that seems to be what has Americans excited.

There are few interviews with her on YouTube, although there are plenty of fan videos of her kissing Sarah Lancashire in Last Tango in Halifax. When Sarah Lancashire accepted a BAFTA for her role in Last Tango in Halifax, she said, “If you ever get a chance to kiss Nina Sosanya, do it. You won’t be sorry.” I think Nina Sosanya might say the same thing about Sarah Lancashire.

After Nina’s character, Kate, was eliminated on Last Tango in Halifax, I wrote this post: Another Dead Lesbian and the Question of Representation. It might interest you.

@HG’mom on Twitter put me on to this Sunday Brunch program on YouTube with an interview with Nina Sosanya about half way through. She talks about finally buying a house and why she had to stop dancing.

There’s now a Tumblr blog in her honor called The Sosanyatorium and you’ll find many GIFs of her on Tumblr as well. There’s a good interview with Nina at Cultbox.

Updates and Quotes

In an interview with The Guardian on Nina’s performance in Young Chekhov, Nina made several quotable remarks. When asked about being recognized and approached on the street, Nina said, “With Last Tango, the most incredibly different people – young, old, white, black, men, women – would want to talk to me, and there was something enchanting about how it seemed to speak to everyone.”

In response to a comment that the biggest moment in her career happened off screen – her death in Last Tango in Halifax, Nina said, “The producer gave me a call before the scripts arrived and warned me what was coming. I wasn’t shocked, I was just sad. I knew that in a third series you need stuff to occur, but I was sad because I thought there was more to do with her. And, let’s be honest, as the actor you’re going: er, I haven’t got a job now. So it was upsetting.”

The Chekhov plays with Nina Sosanya are not normally roles for women of color, which prompted some questions about race. Nina commented, “I’ve always referred to myself as ‘mixed race’, but apparently that’s not correct any more. But to call myself ‘black’ would be to deny my mother. There are so many boxes you can put yourself in and the part of the Venn diagram where they overlap is probably who you are.” Even in her own family, Nina considered herself an outsider. “I was always the minority in the room, even in my own immediate family, who were all white.”

If you can’t make it to the London theater to watch Chekhov, Nina is currently on American Netflix in the noir mystery Marcella, where she plays a police detective.

Nina mentions here on Old Ain’t Dead

Don’t forget that I’ve talked about Nina many times on this blog. Look at all these posts.

Nina, if you’re reading this, we are very curious about you and would love to hear more about you as a person. Talk to us.

Images from The BBC & Love Actually and The National Theatre

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22 thoughts on “Absolutely Everything About Nina Sosanya Isn’t Very Much – Updated”

  1. Nina Sosanya had a great role as a woman pretending to be a castrato in Russell T Davies’ Casanova alongside pre-Doctor David Tennant. And a plug for Laura Fraser who is great in it too.

  2. Thanks for the mention! I can tell you that Nina does live in London with her long-term boyfriend. It was mentioned in an article from last year in a womens magazine in the UK. Other than that, she is an elusive presence. Here is a link to that article which I wrote out and posted on my blog – http://fyninasosanya.tumblr.com/post/93966166136/im-re-posting-the-full-article-and-accompanying

    I do have 3 other articles from the last 5 years or so all written out, but she is only talking about various acting roles, no personal information really.

  3. As much as I’d love to know more about Nina, I admire her for how she’s managed to stay so private. It makes me respect her privacy even more. Part of the not knowing is what makes her so alluring.

    1. You have a good point. Many of my favorite actresses are very private, e.g., Jennifer Beals. I was listening to an interview with Kerry Washington, who is also private about her personal life. She talked about getting “training” when everyone from Scandal went on Twitter. She learned how to engage with her audience and be professional on Twitter without being revealing. http://www.blogher.com/its-not-scandal-watch-demetria-lucas-interview-kerry-washington There’s definitely an art to being a public person in a professional way while maintaining a wall around your personal self.

  4. She’s obviously a very extremely private person and I completely respect that. However I wish that she had some sort of official page that we could sing her praise for the wonderful work that she has done over the decade. Also I’d love to hear her thoughts on her role in last tango in halifax. I know it’s her job and she bloody great at it, but her job has an impact on others. It’s such an oddity seeing a woman of colour playing an LGBT character – a character that I am proud to watch. Do it Nina, give us an interview? Please

  5. We think it’s wonderful that she has managed to protect her privacy but have been frustrated that we couldn’t congratulate her on her success in the acting world. I taught Nina A level dance and she went from us to Northern School of Contemporary Dance. I had no idea that she had moved into acting and it is only recently that it dawned on us that the familiar face on TV was one of our ex students. Congratulations Nina….we’re really enjoying your performances!

  6. Last tango in Halifax is one of the most fasinating shows I have seen in a very long time. Nina Sosanya is fantastic with Caroline, they are almost meant for each other. I will not stop looking until Nina resurface and give us a Howdy doo.

  7. Nina is blowing up in the U.S. I hope she does something in the Nation’s Capital. We would love to see her!

  8. Hope writer Sally Wainwright has the good sense to 1) get Kate and “Caroline back together ….. it was all dream or b) give them thier own show!

  9. She’s a fantastic actress in all the parts I’ve seen her in – she lights up the screen. She is to be respected for maintaining her privacy in the era of ‘celebrity’! I wish her all the very best for the future and hope to see more of her on stage, screen and television.

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