From Janelle Monáe to Taika Waititi: Tessa Thompson's Rumored Dating History
If you've found yourself wondering why you can't recall any of Tessa Thompson's past relationships, that's because she's famously known for keeping details about her personal life private. In fact, the romantic relationship Thompson has talked about most publicly isn't even one that happened in real life: her onscreen relationship with Michael B. Jordan in the Creed franchise.
Thompson told Refinery29 in March that she and Jordan went to couple's therapy as their characters Adonis "Donnie" Creed and Bianca in order to better portray their relationship onscreen, but in the process, it helped them learn more about their own real-life relationships.
"The line sometimes between character and us get blurred because we bring so much of what we're exploring personally to the characters in general," Thompson said. She added that they were "also reflecting on our own relationships" that they've had over the eight years they've worked together on the franchise. She continued, "We've seen each other through various stages in our own romantic things," adding, "We know stuff about each other's lives. We shared and talked about it. So therapy ended up starting at work and getting more personal."
When it comes to whom Thompson loves and why she's private about it, the star did open up to Porter Edit back in 2018. "I can take things for granted because of my family — it's so free and you can be anything that you want to be. I'm attracted to men and also to women. If I bring a woman home, [or] a man, we don't even have to have the discussion," the 40-year-old actor told the outlet. "I want everyone else to have that freedom and support that I have from my loved ones, but so many people don't."
While Thompson never dated Jordan, ahead, you can read everything we know about Tessa's actual rumored relationships, including with Janelle Monáe and Rita Ora.
Speculation about Janelle Monáe and Thompson's relationship began in April 2015, when Thompson appeared as a backup dancer in the singer's "Yoga" music video. The pair were then photographed for the first time together the following month at the 2015 MOCA gala. Romance rumors around the duo intensified at the beginning of 2018, after they played star-crossed lovers in the "emotion picture" version of Monáe's "Dirty Computer" album and attended the Los Angeles premiere of "Annihilation."
During an interview with Porter Edit in June 2018, Thompson addressed the rumors head-on. "It's tricky, because Janelle and I are just really private people and we're both trying to navigate how you reconcile wanting to have that privacy and space, and also wanting to use your platform and influence," she said.
Thompson continued, "We love each other deeply. We're so close, we vibrate on the same frequency. If people want to speculate about what we are, that's okay. It doesn't bother me." Her comments led many to believe the two had been romantically involved. The actor later clarified in a tweet that, "I didn't say I was in a relationship. But I said lots of other things."
The rumored romance between Thompson and English singer Dev Hynes seemingly began in 2019, when the couple was photographed taking a stroll in Paris, attending Wimbledon in London, and shopping in New York. In early 2020, Hynes and Thompson were seen cozying up at an afterparty for the Sundance premiere of "Sylvie's Love" before sitting front row of Milan Fashion Week. It's unclear when the two fizzled out, as neither ever publicly confirmed the relationship.
Taika Waititi/Rita Ora
The internet went wild when pictures of Thompson getting cozy with both Taika Waititi and Rita Ora surfaced on May 23, 2021. It didn't take long for people to wonder whether or not Thompson and the new celeb couple were actually a throuple, seeing as Thompson had been photographed both nose-to-nose with Ora and in an intimate embrace with Waititi. The trio was also seen in a huddle one can only describe as "a love puddle."
Ora and Waititi were first romantically linked together by an Instagram post on April 21, 2021. Thompson was also included in the same Instagram gallery, which the singer had captioned, "Good times, memories, random things on my phone and the ones I love."
Further evidence of Ora and Waititi's relationship came after the duo attended the Sydney premiere of "RuPaul's Drag Race Down Under" together on April 30, 2021. The pair, who have worked together on 2017's "Thor: Ragnarok" and "Thor: Love and Thunder," have since officially tied the knot.
Ora has also officially shut down any speculation about a romantic relationship with Thompson. "I just chose to not acknowledge that because it's ridiculous," she told GQ in a January 2023 cover story. "I think when some things are so absurd, and it's hard to fathom any sense of it, you just have to ignore it." She explained a bit of the context that led to some of the affectionate photos, saying, "Have you ever been in a situation where you've had a lot of drinks and everyone's your best friend? And then the next day you're like, 'I was talking to this person in the smoking area for four hours and I've got no idea who they are?' Literally – that [photo] was just a bunch of friends having a good time. They [Taika and Tessa] had a crazy schedule and everyone was letting loose."
She did say, however, that she was happy about the representation the story provided. "The good news though, is that when I was on Twitter talking to my fans, all of my incredible LGBTQIA+ fanbases were like, actually – whether this is true or not – I'm so inspired that this is being normalized publicly," Ora said. "That made me really happy. You don't know who it's touching."
The model was also spotted hanging out with Thompson, Waititi, and Ora on May 23, 2021, and that same day, he and Thompson were photographed kissing while out and about in Sydney. However, their relationship status remains unclear.