JUDGE OF MISCHIEF
By Kirsten Howard
In Loki, Gugu Mbatha-Raw stars as Ravonna Renslayer, a former TVA Hunter-turned-judge with her feet planted firmly in the past, present and future.
38-year-old Gugu Mbatha-Raw studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art before forging a career on stage and screen.
Her past TV appearances include Spooks and Doctor Who, and she has had key roles in films like Fast Color and The Cloverfield Paradox.
Some audiences will best know Mbatha-Raw from Black Mirror’s most beloved episode, "San Junipero", where she played Kelly in the unexpectedly upbeat instalment of the series.
She also scooped awards for her performances in Belle and Beyond the Lights.
This year, Disney+ viewers will get to know Mbatha-Raw as Ravonna Renslayer in Marvel Studios’ latest big budget TV series, Loki.
The show follows a “Variant” version of Tom Hiddleston’s God of Mischief after he escaped during the time heist in Avengers: Endgame.
In Marvel Comics, Ravonna Renslayer was a time-traveling princess linked to Kang the Conqueror, but Loki’s version of the character is quite different.
In Loki, Ravonna Renslayer is a respected judge at the Time Variance Authority, a bureaucratic organization that helps keep the MCU timeline on track.
She is a former TVA Hunter who now oversees investigations, and often has to rein in colleagues like Owen Wilson’s Mobius M. Mobius.
When “Variant” Loki shows up at TVA, she eventually signs off on a meeting between Mobius and Loki which could help solve a very unsettling temporal problem that has emerged.
“Renslayer is used to being respected, so to have a character like Loki before her, who sees himself as a sort of god-king character, ruffles her feathers,” said Mbatha-Raw.
She added, “He’s so mischievous and disrespectful.”
Loki director Kate Herron loves what Mbatha-Raw brought to the character. “She’s like a chameleon.”
“Everything that she’s in, she’s so different,” Herron explained. “I felt in a weird way that’s almost Renslayer too.”
This might not be the last time we see Renslayer in the Marvel Cinematic Universe! Mbatha-Raw has indicated that the character has a lot of potential in the future.