Shahadi Wright Joseph

From Broadway to Hollywood: Shahadi Wright Joseph's Evolution


Sep. 21 2023, Published 9:13 p.m. ET

Shahadi Wright Joseph has come a long way in Hollywood and the talented actress’ story is quite inspirational. She gained prominence in her exceptional role as the young Nala in the 2019 live-action and Broadway version of Disney’s The Lion King. Since then, she has gone on to star in several high-profile TV shows and movies, and many younger, aspiring artists out there have come to see her as a role model, worth emulating.

The following is a highlight of Shahadi’s career trajectory.

Broadway and Film’s ‘The Lion King’

Shahadi made a significant mark in her career with her exceptional performance on Broadway and in the 2019 live-action version of The Lion King. This role helped the young actress quickly establish a strong foundation in the entertainment industry. While her performance as a young Nala brought her into the limelight, her transition to the film sector broadened her reach and expanded her network. With her move into film, she has worked with several more established A-list actors and actresses and popular movie producers and directors.

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‘Us’ by Jordan Peele Is Shahadi’s Most Notable Role

One of the most significant transitions Shahadi made into a film is featuring in Jordan Peele’s horror movie, Us. She masterfully played the roles of Zora Wilson and Umbrae. Many couldn’t believe she could handle a two-in-one role in a movie. She was able to demonstrate great versatility which earned her praise from movie critics and followers.

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“It’s definitely much harder to be Umbre than it is to play Zora. I really just had to get out of my comfort zone. The cast really helped us all out with that,” she told The Hollywood Reporter of her role. “Even when we were in our bad looks, we were still a family. You can see the connection there.”

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Shahadi Continues to Expand Her Portfolio

Following Us, Shahadi has continued to act, appearing in the television series, Them — an Amazon show that follows a Black family who moves into an all-white neighborhood and deals with “malevolent forces” next door and otherwordly — as well as the movie, Come Find Me. “I was told about the project was that it was gonna be a horror anthology series that takes place in the Jim Crow era. I immediately had some initial thoughts about what it would be like, and I was so drawn to it and attracted to it, as soon as I heard about it,” Shahadi said of her role on Them. “I was very, very excited to start working on it and to have the opportunity to work on this with Little Marvin and Lena Waite and the rest of my Emory family. It was just fantastic.”

Growing Social Media Presence

Shahadi Wright Joseph has successfully elevated her visibility in both the movie industry and social media. Shahadi has hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube and the numbers are still rising. There is also speculation that she will venture into some other entertainment, beauty, and fashion businesses in the near future.

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