V Girls: Pepi Sonuga

V Girls: Pepi Sonuga

This starlet is leaping from the small screen to the big one.

This starlet is leaping from the small screen to the big one.

Photography: HART+LESHKINA

Styling: John Colver

Text: Maxwell Williams

According to Pepi Sonuga, the plot of David Robert Mitchell’s Los Angeles-set neo-noir thriller, Under the Silver Lake (the director’s follow-up to his sleeper horror hit, It Follows) is full of metaphors. “The script was, I’m not kidding, 200 pages,” Sonuga says. “Because he had pictures there, cartoons. If he says something like, ‘The cat jumped into a pool of glitter,’ he will literally draw it out for you—the cat, the color of the glitter, everything. So, that’s what to expect from this movie. It’s so quirky. And my role, specifically, she is fancy.”

It’s Sonuga’s first big part (her costars include Andrew Gar eld and Riley Keough), having just come off of recurring appearances on acclaimed shows like Ash vs Evil Dead, The Fosters, and Famous in Love. In the last, she plays a pop star who gets fed up with the world and leaves the limelight to become a recluse. “It’s a fun teen show,” she elaborates. “But my character deals with a lot of issues. She’s a black woman in Hollywood, and I’m sorry, you can’t make a TV show [like this one] and not talk about that. So, that’s going to be explored, and I identify with her struggle to the extreme. I know that other people will as well.”

Sonuga was born in Nigeria and raised on Nollywood films. She has a lot of love for her Nigerian roots, and hopes to bring all the skills that she has learned in the City of Angels back to her homeland someday. “I would love to go back to Nigeria and make something like Beasts of No Nation, but with a female lead,” she says. “Something vicious: a strong African movie, fighting for her people. A war film with a female warrior.”

JACKET MAISON MARGIELA DRESS PROENZA SCHOULER
Credits:
Makeup Natasha Severino (Forward Artists) Hair Dennis Gots (The Wall Group) Production Lindsay Heimer Stylist assistant Megan King Makeup assistant Julia Flaherty Location Aesthesia North Light Studio

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POTW: July 17-21