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Gugu Mbatha-Raw Looks Strong & Beautiful In GQ Magazine + Mahershala Ali Opens Up About Battling Depression In The Hollywood Reporter

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Gugu Mbatha-Raw brings her beauty to GQ magazine while Mahershala Ali opens up about battling depression in The Hollywood Reporter. More inside…

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One word for Gugu Mbatha-Raw: Flawless.

The 33-year-old actress is heating up pages inside GQ magazine's March 2017 issue with her gorgeous pictorials. In the shots, Gugu serves up effortless gorgeousness as she dances, lounges and shows off her “guns.”

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She has captivated us in movies like Beyond the Lights, Miss Sloane and Black Mirror. And there’s more where that came from.

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Switching gears from more serious and tragic roles, the British beauty will be starring in the Beauty and the Beast reboot as a singing and dancing feather duster. It’s the total opposite role from the more dark and serious roles she has played in the past.

“I love tragedy, but you can’t do it all the time—it’s way too draining,” she tells GQ. We can imagine. Actors and actresses delve into their characters so deeply that it probably weighs on them when they have to stay in dark places to fully emobody the character they're portraying.

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Coming down the pipeline, Gugu is also gearing up for a role in Ava DuVernay’s highly anticipated film adaptation, A Wrinkle In Time. We can't wait to see it, but we'll have to stay calm until April 2017.

In another magazine...

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If you didn't know who Mahershala Ali is, surely you know him now. Or, you've at least have heard of his name. He's been this awards season's "IT" guy as he racked up nominations and wins in damn near every awards ceremony. And we're not mad. Glad he's finally getting his shine.

The Oscar nominated star lands this week's cover of The Hollywood Reporter and he opens up about dealing with depression. 

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Inside, the Moonlight star reveals he went into depression after his father left him and his mother. He shares,

“After that, my uncle has told me, and even my grandmother, I went into a depression. I was borderline depressed for years. There was a sadness over me, a melancholy. That's always been a part of me — those are some of the things that lead you to the arts. It's something I still think about, not that it brings me sadness at this point; it's a void or fracture that happened so early that now I have to address it in the healthiest way. We're affected by things, but 20 or 30 years later we can choose to feel different about them. I understand: My mom and dad were kids. And I know that they loved me and did the best they could do.”

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The “Luke Cage” star also dishes on how he started opening up to different religions and beliefs outside of Christianity – the religion he was taught to believe growing up – and how his mother reacted his life change. He says his journey started when he went with his wife Amatus and her mom to a mosque in Philadelphia back when they were in college.

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He shares,

"I was around 23 or 24 years old when I couldn't ignore it anymore. I was going back in time and trying to find out why I believed what I believed, and it always ended with my mother, and with what I was told — not my own epiphany or studies."

"A week later, it was Christmas break for school, and I just happened to stay in New York. It was Dec. 31, 1999. I woke up and thought, 'I have to go to the mosque,' and I go to this mosque in Brooklyn, and it's packed. It's multiple stories, and I'm all the way in the back, and they do this sermon in English and in Arabic, and they go to make the prayer — 'In the name of God the gracious and the merciful. All praise is due to God alone' — and the same thing happens to me, and I just start crying. I couldn't wrap my head around it. It was beyond explanation. There was this connection that pierced through it all for me. And I felt like I was in the right place. And this guy touches me on the shoulder and says, 'Are you Muslim?' And I say, 'No.' And he goes, 'Do you want to be?' And I said, 'Yes.' So he took me up to the imam, and I made my pledge"

"When I told my mother, it was a little bit clumsy. I got on the phone and she wasn't excited about that, in large part because at that time she believed there's only one route to heaven, through Christianity. It probably took 10 or 12 years until she really embraced it. My mother is as spiritual as she is religious. She likes to have a good time, but she has an extraordinarily serious quality about her. She lives with the awareness that we are spiritual beings having a physical experience, that everything is about the next life. She basically told me she accepted that was my path, and she's been really supportive of that choice. We are in an extraordinarily positive place today."

That's great he and his mother could put their religious beliefs aside for the sake of their relationship.

You can read Mahershala's full interview here.

Check out a behind-the-scenes clip from the photoshoot below:

Photos: Peggy Sirota via GQ/Miller Mobley via THR

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