From a young age, destiny seemed to call upon Saniyya Sidney to work with some of the most respected actors and directors in the industry. Her first role was iconic. Filming five weeks in New Orleans, she played Young Kizzy in the new adaptation of Alex Haley’s Roots. She instantly bonded and formed an incredible artistic partnership with her director Mario Van Peebles.
Next she was off to Atlanta on another historic project, playing Taraji P. Henson’s daughter in the feature Hidden Figures. The film also stars Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae. Taking place in the 1960s, it tells the true story of the three African American mathematicians who computed the trajectory for the first Apollo missions into space and moon landing.
Next she received the call that catapulted the trajectory of a career. It was from Denzel Washington who cast her as his and Viola Davis’ daughter in the film Fences, another period piece, this one taking place in the 1950s. Mr. Washington directs the story adapted from the August Wilson play, in which he and Ms. Davis reprise their Tony winning roles.
She won Best Ensemble at the Screen Actor Guild Awards for Hidden Figures.
In 2016, she attended the Oscars for the first time for both Hidden Figures and Fences.
She loved being in her first comedy playing Kevin Hart’s daughter in Kevin Hart’s Guide to Black History.
The next person who knocked at the door was the incomparable Ridley Scott. Saniyya was cast in the lead of Amy Bellafonte in the series The Passage. It is a role that she will forever treasure.
Playing Sasha Obama in Showtime’s The First Lady brought her back with the amazing Viola Davis who plays Michelle Obama.
Her most challenging physical role was playing tennis icon Venus Williams in the Warner Brothers feature King Richard. She stars opposite Will Smith who plays the legendary Richard Williams.
Her role was critically praised and has garnered many nominations and wins, including Oscar and SAG nominations for Best Pictures. She received a Critics Choice nomination for Best Young Actor. She won the AAFCA award for Breakout Performance, the Hollywood’s Critics Association award for Star on the Rise, and Santa Barbara FF’s Virtuoso Award.