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Soneque Martin-Green
Sonequa Martin-Green 2019 (cropped)
General Information
Gender: Female
Birthday: March 21, 1985
Age: 32
Birthplace: Russellville, Franklin County, Alabama, U.S.
Other Information
Height: 5'4½"
Occupation(s): Actress
Writer
Producer
Education: University of Alabama
Talents: Acting
Writing
Family & Friends
Family: Kenric Justin Green II (son)
Relationships: Kenric Green (husband)
Series Information
Character: Tamara
First appearance: The Queen Is Dead
Last appearance: The Heart of the Truest Believer

Sonequa Martin-Green is an American actress and producer. Martin-Green is best known for her television role as Sasha Williams in The Walking Dead and as Tamara in Once Upon a Time. Prior to this, she had starred in several independent films before gaining her first recurring role as Courtney Wells on The Good Wife. She is to play the lead role in the 2017 series Star Trek: Discovery.

View the Sonequa Martin-Green Gallery.

Early life

Martin-Green was born in Russellville, Alabama. She has one full sister and three older half-sisters. She had initially decided on becoming a psychologist before deciding to pursue a career in acting when she was in the tenth grade. After graduating from the University of Alabama in 2007 with a degree in theatre, she relocated to New York City where she and her husband, Kenric, lived for five years before moving to California.

Career

Film

While known primarily for her television roles, Sonequa Martin-Green made her debut in film with various film roles since 2005. In 2009, she played the lead role of Tosha Spinner in Toe to Toe opposite Louisa Krause, the fiercely determined scholarship student who seeks to build a brighter future outside of Anacostia and away from one of Washington's poorest neighborhoods. The film focuses on her friendship and rivalry with Jessie (Louisa Krause), a privileged girl from Bethesda whose promiscuous tendencies threaten to become her undoing. They both strive to gain a better understanding of one another's plight as society threatens to drive them ever farther apart. The film received generally positive reviews, with Martin-Green's performance receiving critical acclaim, even from the film's detractors.

Television

Martin-Green has had various guest and recurring roles in TV shows. She made her television debut in 2008, appearing on NBC's Law & Order: Criminal Intent as Kiana Richmond. She then gained her first recurring role on Army Wives as Kanessa Jones the following year. In 2009, she received the role of Courtney Wells on The Good Wife, her first recurring role playing an adult character as opposed to playing a teenager with her previous roles in both film and television. She appeared on the show for two years before making two more appearances in Gossip Girl and NYC 22 in 2011.

In 2012, Sonequa Martin-Green was cast in a recurring role on The Walking Dead as Sasha, the sister of Tyreese (Chad Coleman), an original character, exclusive to the television series. Martin-Green auditioned for the role of Michonne albeit with a pseudonym due to the secrecy of the auditioning process. When Danai Gurira, whom Martin-Green said was "the perfect choice", was cast, former showrunner Glen Mazzara still wanted Martin-Green to be a part of the show and decided to create a role specifically for her instead. Martin-Green explained: "[Sasha] was supposed to be a recurring character and as we kept going forward, they picked up my option to be a regular. It's very rare and I'm still quite dumbfounded about it but Glen and I hit it off and I still appreciate him. He wanted to work with me and wrote Sasha for me." She was promoted to a series regular for season 4 with Emily Kinney and Coleman. After auditioning for the role of Michonne, she read the first three volumes of the graphic novels in preparation for the television series. Knowing they were different, she chose not to continue reading the comic book series to avoid being aware of future storylines that may occur on the television series. Martin-Green's performance as Sasha, particularly in the fifth season and seventh season, has received favorable reviews.

After filming for the third season of The Walking Dead ended, Martin-Green was cast in the recurring role of Tamara on Once Upon a Time, a woman determined to rid the world of magic in its second season. She returned briefly in the third season before returning to her regular role as Sasha on The Walking Dead. As of the first episode of sixth season, Martin-Green's name appears in the opening credits.

In December 2016, her role as the lead actor of Star Trek: Discovery as a lieutenant commander of the USS Discovery was made public.

Personal life

Martin-Green has been married to fellow actor Kenric Green since December 4, 2010. They met while acting together in the play, Fetch Clay, Make Man, at the McCarter Theater in Princeton, New Jersey. In 2015, in Los Angeles, Martin-Green gave birth to a boy named Kenric Justin Green II after his father. Martin-Green was pregnant during filming of the fifth season of The Walking Dead, which she covered up using thick layers and using larger guns. She and her husband are vegans.

Since April 2016, she has been an ambassador for Stand Up to Cancer, encouraging clinical trials, having a three-time cancer surviving mother and a sister with breast cancer.

Martin-Green has been outspoken against situations of injustice and discrimination based on race, gender and sexual orientation. After the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, she said, "I push back the hopelessness trying to creep in, believing that God has a plan for all" before declaring "Black. Lives. MATTER." After the Orlando shooting, Martin-Green shared the text message between Mina Justice and her son, Eddie, saying, "To hear those words from your son... I can't imagine the pain. So many are in so much pain right now. This is tragedy. This is devastation. This is hate. Only love can conquer. Not love that you just speak about, love you put into ACTION. I pray we take action. And I pray that all those touched by this horror will find peace." She later joined a charity event supporting the Pulse nightclub victims.

Speaking to Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain about the launch of Star Trek: Discovery, Martin-Green discussed her character's unique name calling it a "profoundly [...] political statement of the gender fluidity of the future, where a daughter can be named after her father." Morgan stirred up conflict and responded, "I'm very confused and unsettled by gender fluidity, people who wake up one day and think they're Sonequa and the next day Michael". Martin-Green initially clarified on her original comment saying, "When I speak of gender fluidity, I'm speaking about gender roles and this industry being more equal[...]. I want us to not pay so much attention to those barriers." Morgan persisted further on gender fluidity, asking if she would like her son to be gender fluid and she responded saying, "I don't think anyone can speak on those terms because it is such a highly sensitive and personal thing – and everyone has a right to explore that. It's our rights as human beings. Or at least it should be" and on her son, said, "I couldn’t say that I didn’t like it, because if that’s what [my son] truly believed, I have to support that because I love him unconditionally."


Filmography

Year Title Type Role
2005 Not Quite Right Video Coco Delight (as Sonequa Martin)
2007 I-Can-D Short VJ (as Sonequa Martin)
2008 Law & Order: Criminal Intent TV Series Kiana Richmond
2008 Blind Thoughts Jenna Lopez (as Sonequa Martin)
2009 Toe to Toe Tosha (as Sonequa Martin)
2009 Rivers Wash Over Me Shawna King (as Sonequa Martin)
2009 Army Wives TV Series Kanessa Jones
2009 - 2011 The Good Wife TV Series Courtney Wells
2011 Yelling to the Sky Jojo Parker (as Sonequa Martin)
2011 Gossip Girl TV Series Joanna
2011 Da Brick TV Movie Rachel (as Sonequa Martin)
2012 NYC 22 TV Series Michelle Terry
2012 - 2018 The Walking Dead TV Series Sasha Williams
2013 Once Upon a Time TV Series Tamara
2014 Shockwave Darkside Private Lang (as Sonequa Martin)
2014 On the Bridge Short Laura
2016 Escape! TV Series
2016 - 2017 New Girl TV Series Rhonda
2017 Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero TV Series short Pirate Maria
2017 - 2020 Star Trek: Discovery TV Series Michael Burnham / Cmdr. Michael Burnham
2019 Holiday Rush Roxy Richardson
2020 Fast and Furious Crossroads (post-production) Video Game
2021 Space Jam: A New Legacy (post-production) Savannah James
The Outside Story (completed) Isha

Trivia

  • She was awarded the 2018 Saturn Award for Best Actress on Television as Lieutenant Commander Michael Burnham in Star Trek: Discovery (2017).
  • Since April 2016, she has been an ambassador for Stand Up to Cancer, encouraging clinical traits, having a three-time cancer surviving mother and a sister with breast cancer.
  • She was the salutatorian of her high school.
  • She has co-starred with Chandler Riggs on The Walking Dead.
  • She earned a degree in theatre from the University of Alabama in 2007.
  • She met Kenric Green while doing a play with him in New Jersey, and they later married.
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