Being held up at gunpoint can be profoundly terrifying and traumatic, but when actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw saw her life flash before her eyes, it changed her view on life for the better. During her acceptance speech for the Essence Black Women in Hollywood Breakthrough Award, the 31-year-old star recalled the moment she was attacked by an armed robber while she was filming Beyond the Lights.
“I thought, ‘This is it. This is the ultimate fear.’ The end of life, right there in front of you,” she said. “I ran away as fast as I could. It was all OK, but what it gave me was a sense of letting go of the fears that stop us from doing the things that we want to do.”
Instead of letting this horrific moment paralyze her, she used it to propel her to do things she’d been pushing aside like traveling to South Africa and exploring her ancestry. She even went so far as to call the moment a “gift.”
“It really was a gift,” she said. “I guess all that is to say that our fears can sometimes be great if we stand up and face them.”
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(Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
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