Charmaine Bingwa
Charmaine Bingwa.jpeg
BornCharmaine Bingwa
(1985-11-13)November 13, 1985
Perth, Australia
ResidenceUnited States
NationalityZimbabwean / Australian
CitizenshipAustralian
Alma materAustralian Institute of Music
OccupationActor
Known forHer role as Carmen Moyo in The Good Fight.
Home townPerth

Charmaine Bingwa is an Australian actor born to Zimbabwean parents. She is known for her role as Carmen Moyo in The Good Fight, an American legal drama.

Personal Details

Charmaine was born on 13 November 1985 in Perth, Western Australia.[1]

Education

She holds a Bachelor of Music and a Bachelor of Commerce.[2]

Career

Charmaine began her career as a singer and studied for a Bachelor of Music degree at university.

She took acting as one of her final "electives" (courses you can choose, allowing you to study topics that interest you).

Charmaine signed with an acting agent soon after graduating and won plaudits in the stage role Doubt: A Parable starring Mrs. Muller.

She was nominated for Best Female Actor in a Leading Role in a Mainstage Production for her role in Doubt: A Parable (2017).[3]

Charmaine also starred, wrote, produced, and co-directed the series Little Sista which won the LGBT Toronto Film Festival.[4]

Filmography

  • 2018: Nekrotronic
  • 2018: Hello Au Revoir
  • 2018: Little Sista (TV series, 7 episodes, also writer and director)
  • 2020: Black Box
  • 2021: The Pitch
  • 2021: The Good Fight (TV series)
  • 2022: Emancipation
  • 2022: Trees of Peace

Awards

Charmaine made history by becoming the first openly gay woman of colour to be awarded the Heath Ledger Scholarship in its 10-year duration.[5] She said:[6]

Sometimes being so unique can work for you, and sometimes it can work against you.

I am just putting all my energy into the basket that works for me. It is awesome to be a young black Australian woman with an African heritage who is openly gay.

It’s working for me at the moment because it’s not something that comes across your desk every day.

People want to talk to me because they can tell I have a different story.

Events

Charmaine said she was forced to leave Australia and migrate to the United States of America to get roles because black actors aren't reflected on screen in Australia. She said:

Racism is always slow-moving, it's hard and slow to change. I think in Australia, we're definitely making strides towards it.

I'm glad it is starting. I think we're at the beginning, for people, indigenous people in Australia.

You know, I experienced overt racism, but I think it's more the subtle, institutionalised stuff we're privy to in Australia.

The fact that I moved to America to have a better chance of having an acting career because, at the time, I know what it's since changed, but at the time you wouldn't see people like me reflected on screen in Australia.

Speaking about starring "Dodienne" in the Hollywood film, Emancipation, where she portrayed what enslaved Black women had to do to protect their children and the sacrifices they made.[7] Charmaine said:

For me, it was more important for me to put myself in that place so it was truthful. I read an enslaved narrative, and that was a primary source of my research.

History books have a weird way of making it feel abstract and they take away the humanity of people, so I wanted to hear from people's personal experiences.

I read a story of a woman who was beaten so badly that her jaw would never open again, she was never able to eat solid foods, and she was physically maimed.

I woke up the next day and my jaw wouldn't move. I panicked and my ear was blocked, and my ear stayed blocked for six weeks.

I have an amazing team that got me through six weeks of intense physical therapy to help open up my jaw again.

It does imprint on you in a deep way, but it doesn't compare to the things that are imprinted on the people who actually went through it.

Trivia

Charmaine said her teacher at the Australian Institute of Music in Sydney, Tony Cogin, inspired her to think of acting as a career choice.

Further Reading

  1. Jessie Papain Health Ledger Scholarship winner Charmaine Bingwa hunts down Oscar, The West Australian, Published: 29 September 2018, Retrieved: 20 January 2023
  2. Charmaine Bingwa Biography, IMDb, Published: No Date Was Given, Retrieved: 20 January 2023
  3. Matt Edwards 2017 Sydney Theatre Awards nominations announced Charmaine Bingwa Biography, AussieTheatre.com, Published: 19 December 2017, Retrieved: 20 January 2023
  4. Matt Edwards Charmaine Bingwa: Australia’s Big Sista, FilmInk, Published: 19 September 2018, Retrieved: 20 January 2023
  5. Amanda N'Duka UTA & Artists First Sign Heath Ledger Scholarship Recipient Charmaine Bingwa, Deadline, Published: 26 October 2018, Retrieved: 20 January 2023
  6. Bridie Pearson-Jones Australian actor and The Good Fight star Charmaine Bingwa says she was 'forced' to work overseas in a bid to save her career due to 'overt racism', MailOnline, Published: 10 December 2022, Retrieved: 20 January 2023
  7. Yolanda Machado Emancipation costar Charmaine Bingwa: 'I don't think it's trauma porn', Entertainment, Published: 09 December 2022, Retrieved: 20 January 2023