Tessa Lynn Thompson was born October 3, 1983 and is an American actress, singer, and songwriter.

She was born in Los Angeles, California, and she was raised between Los Angeles and Brooklyn, New York. Her father, singer-songwriter Marc Anthony Thompson is of Afro-Panamanian descent, while her mother is of European and Mexican ancestry. She attended Santa Monica High School where she played Hermia in a student production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She then attended Santa Monica College (SMC), where she studied cultural anthropology. While at SMC, she also attended lectures by Lisa Volpe of Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company (LAWSC). 

Thompson made her first television appearance in a 2005 episode of the CBS series Cold Case in the role of a bootlegging lesbian from the 1930s. In the same year, she rose to fame as she landed the role of Jackie Cook on the UPN/CW neo-noir drama series Veronica Mars, starring as a series regular in season two. In 2006, she appeared on the ABC medical drama Grey’s Anatomy.

In April 2016, Thompson was cast as Valkyrie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero film Thor: Ragnarok, which was released on November 3, 2017. She then appeared in the science-fiction horror film Annihilation, which was released on February 23, 2018. In June 2017, Thompson was cast in the science-fiction comedy Sorry to Bother You, which was released on July 6, 2018. She reprised her role as Bianca Taylor in Creed II, which was released on November 21, 2018.

She will also have a starring role in the Men in Black spin-off film, Men in Black: International. The film, which reunites her with Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Endgame co-star Chris Hemsworth, is set for release in June 2019.

Thompson is also a singer-songwriter. She has in the past been a member of the Los Angeles-based indie electro soul band Caught a Ghost, and contributed to the soundtracks for both Creed and Creed II.

Thompson addressed her sexuality in an interview declaring that in her family you can be anything you want to be and that she is attracted to men and also to women. If she brings a woman home, or a man, they don’t even have to have the discussion. Though many publications subsequently referred to Thompson as bisexual, she stated that she never said that word, because she does not think in those binaries.