Rising star Arsema Thomas was so inspired by their parents’ work growing up that she initially pursued a specific career path to make them proud. However, everything changed while studying.


Thomas is an American-born actress who developed an interest in acting after living most of her life across sub-Saharan Africa, including Benin, Kenya, Togo, and Uganda.

Thomas was born to an Ethiopian mother and a Nigerian father. In pursuit of an acting career, she relocated to South Africa.


While there, she auditioned for an agent and landed her first professional screen role, despite her studying for different professions.

Thomas has since appeared in Universal Pictures’ drama film, “Redeeming Love,” alongside tress Abigail Cowen and actor Eric Dane.

Arsema Thomas Holds 2 Degrees, Speaks Several Languages & Studied at Yale University

Arsema Thomas’s parents are diplomats who work in the economic development of the African continent. Growing up, she was exposed to current affairs a lot and revealed in a May 2023 interview that their mom and dad used to discuss “politics and African governance” at the dining table:


“I realized that in a lot of the countries I lived in, the effects of colonialism and imperialism were so blatantly obvious. That became the driving force for what I thought I should be doing as an adult.”


Thomas decided to become a “doctor or something and make my parents proud.” Having made up their mind, she studied bachelor’s degree in biophysics from Carnegie Mellon University in 2016. Afterward, the up-and-coming star pursued a Health Policy masters majoring in Chronic Disease Epidemiology from Yale University in 2018.

Thomas, who is now known for their role as young Lady Danbury in the Netflix series “Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story,” is also fluent in several languages and knows many accents and dialects.


She can speak Amharic, French, Spanish, Swahili, and Yoruba. As for accents or dialects, Thomas is familiar with East Africa (Kenyan), General, French (Quebecois), French (Standard International), New York, Northeast American, West African (Ghanaian), Somalian, and Swiss (French), among others.

All this is very complicated, and it is impressive how Thomas studied complex subjects in university and learned so many languages. Fellow actor Anthony Michael Hall’s partner also speaks more than one language.

Nevertheless, Arsema Thomas Was Always Drawn to Acting

Despite pursuing a different profession through their studies, Arsema Thomas had a change of heart. While studying at Yale, they became interested in the drama department. In an April 2023 interview, she revealed:


“Something physical happened in my body when I was next to it or even heard anything about it.”


After listening to their instinct, they started attending auditions for multiple student films and ultimately became a theatre community member.

Afterward, Thomas attended drama school in Paris. She later joined prestigious institutes such as RADA and LAMDA, and that was when it dawned on her that acting was what she wanted to do because she enjoyed it. Another rising star India Amarteifio who stars in the “Queen Charlotte” series, also went to a prestigious school.

Actress Arsema Thomas attends "Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story" Special Screening and Panel Discussion at National Museum Of African American History & Culture on May 2, 2023 in Washington, DC | Source: Getty Images

Actress Arsema Thomas attends “Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story” Special Screening and Panel Discussion at National Museum Of African American History & Culture on May 2, 2023 in Washington, DC | Source: Getty Images


After bagging two degrees, Thomas felt confident enough to pursue acting because she knew she had something to “fall back on” if things panned out differently than she had hoped.

She auditioned for just about anything, including “community church theater,” and it took years for them to find their big break. Thomas started working odd jobs whenever she could and still auditioned in between.

Thomas was working at a butcher shop in Notting Hill in London when she got the call that changed their life. All their hard work paid off as she received the news that she was cast in “Queen Charlotte.”


The movie star has stunned many viewers with her portrayal of young Lady Danbury in the show. Twitter users sang her praises on the platform.

“I LOVED YOUNG LADYDANBURY. #QueenCharlotte,” said one user. One person wrote, “Arsema is wonderful as young Agatha in #QueenCharlotte.”

A third individual commended the production team for a job well done in casting the stars adding, “Arsema Thomas, especially as Lady Danbury is genius. Her mannerisms are amazing.” While someone else said, “Arsema Angela Adeoluwayemi Thomas is literally the most gorgeous woman ever?” Another “Queen Charlotte” star who has been complimented for his looks is lead actor Corey Mylchreest.


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