Thandie Newton uses her 'Solo: A Star Wars Story' action figure to teach her kids about diversity.

The 45-year-old actress keeps dolls and toys of all colours at her home so that her brood - Ripley, 17, Nico, 13, and Booker, four - have a sense of the world's different races.

Newton - who has a British father and Zimbabwean mother - portrayed one of the sci-fi franchise's first female black characters, Val, in the standalone Han Solo film, and says that and her figure of android Maeve Millay from the TV show 'Westworld' have been useful tools in her bid to make her kids racially aware.

Growing up in South West England in the 70s, Newton had no real connection to her identity because the toys and dolls she had didn't reflect her identity.

She told London's Evening Standard newspaper: ''There wasn't a black Sindy in Cornwall, or a black Girls' World doll. God I begged for that Girl's World doll for a year, then I did well in a maths test and got her.

''It had blonde straight hair and a pink face - I didn't even question it.

''That was perfect for me - I didn't even think, 'Wouldn't it be nice if she was darker skinned?' That's the thing: assumptions are internalised so early on.

''My kids, I surround them with the whole spectrum of what's in life. If you saw our house, we've got posters, photos, artwork, stuff from all around the world.

''It's very important to me that faces in my house are all different colours of skin.

''I grew up loving 'Star Wars' yet there was nobody that represented me.

''My son has the Pop! doll of Maeve and a Val doll and believe me they go into go into battle against each other and against the demons of the world.''