[Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention; see links below.] Lilyanne Rice (The Netline) writes that Yootha Wong-Loi-Sing is Surinamese-Dutch but “doesn’t talk much about her heritage and upbringing.” Here are excerpts:
You’ll probably recognize Yootha Wong-Loi-Sing from OWN’s Love Is. Yootha played the on-again-off-again girlfriend of the main character Yasir. Yootha is also the lead character in a film that recently appeared on Netflix titled Really Love. In it, Yootha’s character explores the vagaries of love while trying to negotiate law school. [. . .]
Yootha was born on 19th August 1987 in Rotterdam, Netherlands, to Dutch parents. She is Surinamese-Dutch. Surinamese is the official language of a former Dutch colony in the northeastern Atlantic Coast of South America named Suriname. We suspect that one or both of Yootha’s parents are from Suriname.
After high school, Wong-Loi-Sing opted to study sociology rather than go to music or theatre school, partly because she thought she couldn’t breakthrough as an actor because of her race. “I was like, ‘yeah, it’s impossible for me to go into acting the way I look,’” Yootha told Discover Benelux.
“I perceived the acting world as hard to penetrate.” Nevertheless, after graduation, she gravitated to acting. Her sociology degree gave her an edge over her competitors as she embodied her characters better than they could. “I’m passionate about the human mind and the psyche – how we interact with people,” she said.
[. . .] Four years after her lead role debut in the Dutch drama The Cost of Sugar, Yootha traveled to Los Angeles to explore the acting industry in the United States. [. . .] Los Angeles embraced Yootha, and she returned the favor. She appreciated that US productions gave her leeway to add dimensions to her characters, which she rarely experienced in Dutch productions.
For instance, she added a background story to her character Ruby in Love Is to make her experiences resonate with a universal crowd and not just a black crowd. “I was like, ‘okay this seems like the bitter ex – how can we turn this around and make this a multi-faceted woman?’” [. . .]
Yootha wants to impact the acting industry: First, by ensuring that writers craft female characters in the same multidimensional way that male characters get crafted. “By showing the ‘roundness’ of a character it’s almost like saying they deserve to be shown as equal – as complex human beings,” she told Discover Benelux.
“And given them a voice that’s telling a story, just like their male counterparts.” Second, she wants to be a good role model for black female actors in the United States and the Netherlands. She gets messages from young Dutch actors who dream of making it in Hollywood but didn’t think it possible until Yootha did it. Wong-Loi Sing explained: “They see me doing it and think ‘okay, maybe there is a way to get there.’ Before, they felt they were restricted, but now they feel there’s hope – that’s a beautiful thing!”
Third, she wants to use her platform to impact positive change in the world. Yootha said: “I feel a responsibility to not only tell stories on screen that are meaningful, but also use my platform to add something good to the world. I hope that I can get to a point where I can use my voice for more things that matter. I feel like I need to add something more to this world.”
For full article, see https://thenetline.com/all-about-yootha-wong-loi-sing
In this interview by Jamaal Finkley of BlackTree TV, Yootha Wong-Loi-Sing mentions her Dutch-Surinamese roots (0:16 – 2:20):
Trailer of the movie Really Love which premiered on Netflix on August 25, 2021: