TV Fanatic Works Better with Prime Instant Video
40,000 other titles are available to watch now.

Who IS Raina Thorpe? Gossip Girl Guest Star Dishes on Character

by at . Comments

Tika Sumpter, who plays intriguing new Gossip Girl character Raina Thorpe, a Chuck Bass love interest and business foil wrapped up in one, says there's more than meets the eye.

The actress says we'll soon learn details about her life that might change our opinion about her: “Of course when we first see a person, you meet their representative," she says.

"You see the front they have to put up. But I think that’s the complexity of a human being. I think you’re going to start seeing her vulnerable side, and seeing what makes Raina tick and what excites her and what makes her fall for people.”

Russell and Raina

Raina and Russell Thorpe (Michael Boatman) on Gossip Girl.

"I’m so excited for you all to see that aspect of her, not just her ambition. The components of being down to earth. The human side,” Sumpter adds ... with a caveat.

"With Raina, first is always family. For her, blood is thicker than water ... She has a tendency to trust her family first and ask questions later,” the actress tells EW.

What do you think? Do you like Raina? Can we trust her?

She's going to be around for the rest of this season of Gossip Girl, so the producers clearly have plans for her. How do you think her story will play out? Discuss!

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

Tags: ,
Avatar

I don't mind that they brought Raina in to shake things up and be a love interest for two white boys, but they should also have put at least one of the white women - or at least biracial Vanessa - in a s3xual relationship with a black male. All they did was TALK about some cheesy backstory in which Lilly supposedly had an affair with Raina Thorpe's father, Russell, played by Michael Boatman. Predictably, Russell ultimately turns out to be a villain who gets no s3x, while Raina is portrayed as a s3x siren who shared her "box" with two white males on the show. The writers clearly didn't even have the stones to deal honestly with race until they started receiving criticism - and even then, they failed on so many levels. They were perfectly comfortable showing Raina smashing Chuck and Nate (best friends AND roommates, uuugh!) and a random Asian dude; yet they couldn't bear the thought of bringing on a good-looking black male actor to smash Blair, Serena, Lilly, Eleanor, Georgina, Jenny, Charlie-Ivy, Charlie-Lola, Vanessa, or even one of the minions (Isabella or Penelope). Clearly the white male producers dictated Raina's and Russell's story lines, because they were just a bit too obvious about their (exotic black woman) fantasies and their insecurities (small peen complexes) - BOTH of which played out through Raina and Russell...typical!

Comment modified at

Avatar

The only reason ALL of you hate this woman is because you wish you were the ones in her role. It is pure jealousy! And if you think you are so good, why not go and audition and get a part in the series? That,s right..It is because you cant act half as good as she can. So please get rid of your jealousy and support your fellow sister. Remember, we are all flesh and blood, regardless of colour!

Avatar

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GIVE RAINA A BETTER WEAVE. I WROTE THIS ON THE FB PAGE CMON GUYS GG IS STYLE- BRAINSTORM MORE ISNT THERE A BETTER WEAVE! ASK TYRA TO HELP OUT OR STH. On a non related note i love DAIR!

Avatar

I think Blair & Chuck had a real intense passion so they will reunite in the end. Their love is a perfect match but its interesting 2 c sumtin different and new but 2 me putting Blair and Dan 2gether is weird. They dont fit at all kinda gross 2 LOL nate is sexy Serena and Nate shud get bak 2gether. I dont miss Vanessa and Juliet but they shud bring bak Jenny Humphrey since she gives Blair a challenge. Raina is beautiful sexy intelligent wealthy and black something many whites do NOT want 2 c especially in a romantic relationship with a white man. Its 2011 yet racism and hatred is still goin strong b cuz whites make sure it never dies SMH but GG is 1 of my favorite shows

Avatar

i am really enjoying raina's character. she's beautiful, intelligent, savvy hopefully she develops more comlexity as the show moves along. although i don't think her and chuck have much chemistry yet, i enjoy seeing her character in the show, although her dad is a tad bit annoying.
it will be interesting to see the love triangle between chuck-raina and chuck-blair, since i always enjoyed chuck and blair's relationship. but knowing gossip girl, i know that chuck and blair are far from over.
happy to see some diversity in GG i mean seriously this show acts like no other race of people live in new york or are wealthy...

Avatar

I really like Raina.... she is refreshing! It was nice to see Chuck's interest in a new woman but, although he was sweet w/ Raina, i didn't feel a spark w/ them. CUE IN NATE. BINGO! they are lovely together and quite adorable. their relationship started off sweet and not w/ sex (like Chuck).
also it's nice to see diversity on GG. she's beautiful and strong but also tender.
on another note, i'm glad to not see Taylor Momsen's character. she was always annoying. and they need to give Vanessa a better story line than anything that has to do w/ Dan and Serena. boring!

Avatar

I really likes Raina.... she is refreshing! It was nice to see Chuck's interest in a new woman but, although he was sweet w/ Raina, i didn't feel a spark w/ them. CUE IN NATE. BINGO! they are lovely together and quite adorable. their relationship started of sweet and not w/ sex (like Chuck).
also it's nice to see diversity on GG. she's beautiful and strong but also tender.
on another note, i'm glad to not see Taylor Momsen's character. she was always annoying. and they need to give Vanessa a better story line than anything that has to do w/ Dan and Serena. boring!

Avatar

She's amazing!

Avatar

Just my 2cents---- I'm really confused about all of the criticism about Raina's character. Calling her a skank, saying there isn't any chemistry, etc... First of all, Serens has slept with almost everyone on set, Blair is a close second, Vanessa has had a 3 some... I think the REAL issue is people aren't comfortable with the inter racial thing. There was NEVER an issue regarding the sexual prowess of the regular female cast members...and If I remember correctly, the show basically opens up with Serena being promiscuous. So is the real issue the promiscuity or color?
If its color, so be it, SAY IT, no one can come through the computer an beat you up if you don't agree with the inter-racial union. Just don't hide behind this facade of "skank", :acting-chops" or what have you. This is a CHARACTER, she is NOT Raina, she is an actress and a very good one, as is most of the cast. So don't leave negative comments about the character that was written when the real basis is your lack of tolerance for an inter-racial couple.

Avatar

It's funny. Who ever thought a 30 year old black w/ a thuggish deamor would even watch or be able to build interest GOSSIP GIRL. With that being said, I think (racist) people are going to have a problem with a beautiful black woman on the scene, never the less actually in the picture. I tired of reading"Im black so I can say this...." Look people, it is what it is, leave color out of it. Whoever dont want to watch because of Raina's CHARACTER, while GOSSIP GIRL is on go burn your swaticka and rebel flag, I'll turn a extra tv on so the network will still get the ratings. MORE TO COME.

Gossip Girl Quotes

And who am I? That's one secret I'll never tell ... You know you love me. XOXO, Gossip Girl

Gossip Girl

It only takes one video to topple an entire career. If you don't believe me just YouTube Connie Chung piano.

Blair