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Black Panther Cast Roars!

February 13, 2018

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kids articles

By: Lynn Barker

Kidzworld got deets on the exciting new Marvel film Black Panther from Panther himself, Chadwick Bozeman, and from some amazing female actors who play sisters and other warriors from Panther’s country of Wakanda. We have Lupita Nyong’o (Nakia), Angela Bassett (Ramonda), Danai Gurira (Okoye) and Letitia Wright (Shuri).

Black Panther flanked by Nakia and Okoye, enters the cityBlack Panther flanked by Nakia and Okoye, enters the cityCourtesy of Marvel Studios

How does Chadwick feel about playing such an iconic Black character and is he a supporter of all the very strong women characters in the film and the actresses who play them? How do these take charge women in the movie feel about their characters and each other? Check out the informative and fun interview!

Q: Lupita, what was going through your mind, and how were you feeling when you knew the lights were about to go down, and we were about to experience Black Panther?

  • Lupita: I mean, I’d been waiting a long time for this.  And I was just so, so, so excited, because this was a movie that we all felt a lot of ownership of, and that we thoroughly enjoyed making.  And when you make a movie like this of this scale, so much happens between the time you perform it and the time you see it, all the computer graphics stuff.  Wakanda was built in a room with Ryan (Coogler the director) and the incredible design team and so to see it alive, to see it almost like three dimensional was what I was looking forward to.  And of course, to see it with everyone.

T'Challa and Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o) in a quiet momentT'Challa and Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o) in a quiet momentCourtesy of Marvel Studios

Q: Chadwick, when you got the call to play Black Panther in Civil War, did you know that you would later have a stand-alone film?

  • Chadwick: The initial phone call from Kevin Feige (Producer) and the Russo Brothers (directors of “Civil War”) (and other filmmakers) was one where they essentially said, ‘We want to bring your character into the Marvel Comic Universe as a stand-alone, but this is the best way to introduce him in Civil War.’  So I was aware of it. I love the fact that it’s a surprise to people.

Black Panther suited upBlack Panther suited upCourtesy of Marvel Studios

Q: Initially, did Kevin Feige call you about doing the part?

  • Chadwick: I was in Zurich coming off of the red carpet for Get On Up.  And my agent was like, ‘You’ve got to get on the phone.’  And the crazy thing is I didn’t even have international calling on my phone until that morning and I heard somebody say, ‘Hey, get international on your phone.  Call your mom.’ (laughter) and then that night he called.

Q: For Angela, Letitia, Danai, and Lupita, this film is Black Panther, but I feel like it really could have been called The Bad-Ass Women of Wakanda. How proud were you all to look on the screen and see yourselves?

  • Angela: Extraordinarily proud and so pleased that this story supported that. In African culture they feel as if there is no king without a queen and I think in this story highlights the queen, the warrior, the general, the young sister. So I was so proud to have my daughter, and my son there last night, because in their faces, and in their spirit they were feeling themselves and they stood taller after last night. 

Ramonda (Angela Bassett) talks with T'Challa (Chadwick Bozeman)Ramonda (Angela Bassett) talks with T'Challa (Chadwick Bozeman)Courtesy of Marvel Studios

Q: So great! And these women were fully developed characters as well…

  • Danai: Yeah, when Ryan sat me down and talked to me about his vision, and the story, and the characters, and the women, I was just floored because you don’t actually get to hear that often. (We were) women from the (African) continent, but very developed, very complex.  It was amazing. I just wanted to watch it.  I get to be in it? 

Okoye (Danai Gurira) in battleOkoye (Danai Gurira) in battleCourtesy of Marvel Studios

Q: And you ladies got to bond with each other?

  • Danai: There were these astounding women who I started training with. I was the first one to get my head shaved and it sounded amazing. Then I and was like ‘Was it today?’  I had a ‘fro, and then it happened. (Afterwards) you go into the restroom to wash your hands, and you look up ‘What the?...’ Then all the girls started coming in. We’d all been balded one by one and then the pride started to grow. We started embracing of this symbol of power in these women. 

Q: And your character doesn’t want a wig….

  • Danai: She doesn’t want to cover up.  This is her joy, and her pride, is in walking in with that bald head with that tattoo on it. You don’t have to have hair to be beautiful.

Q: Lupita, what would you like the audience, and especially young girls, to walk away with from this movie?

  • Lupita: What I love about the way this film represents women is that each and every one of us is an individual, unique and we all have our own sense of power and our own agency and we hold our own space without being pitted against each other.  And I think that’s a very, very powerful message to send to children, both male and female. I think often times in movies we fall into that trap where women are against each other.  
  • Here we see women going about their  business and supporting each other, even arguing with each other, having different points of view, but still not being against each other. I think that’s extremely important. In this movie there are so many of us and we see women alongside men and we see how much more effective a society can be if it allows women to explore their full potential!

Lupita Nyong'o as NakiaLupita Nyong'o as NakiaCourtesy of Marvel Studios
 

Q: Right! Okay Letitia, a lighter question…which weapon, costume or gadget in the film was your fave?

  • Letitia: I think T’Challa’s suit’s quite beautiful. I think the gauntlets my character Shuri has are pretty dope, because it’s her personal little thing. It has little paws, kitty cat paws and where she grabs she can do some damage. I loved those.

Shuri with her kitty-cat pawsShuri with her kitty-cat pawsCourtesy of Marvel Studios

Q: Is she smarter than Black Panther?

  • Chadwick: I allow it. I allow her to be (laughter).
  • Letitia: I like that men are like ‘You should not be smart in Math’ or something else and (in this movie) T-Challa is like ‘Go ahead, Sis. This is your department. This is your domain. Kill it’.
  • Chadwick: I like the idea of the next generation being smarter, being better than you. Even though we’re in the same generation, she’s my younger sister - she benefits from whatever I have reached.  So you want your sons and daughters to be better than you were. So that concept is a Wakandan concept. My older siblings, they raised me and then you see the genius that is inside the people that come after you. That’s an African concept.

Chadwick Boseman as T'Challa aka Black Panther and Letitia Wright as ShuriChadwick Boseman as T'Challa aka Black Panther and Letitia Wright as ShuriCourtesy of Marvel Studios
 

Q: Did Wakanda turn out like you guys thought it would look in your mind’s eye? Anybody?

  • Danai: What was very emotional for me being that I’m Zimbabwean, you see the power and the potential of where you’re from, but you see how skewed it’s viewed by the world and how misrepresented it is. So to see this, it’s kind of a salve to those wounds. You see all the potential and power of all of the different African culturalisms and aspects of our being. We see beauty, we see power, we see potential, we see ability, we see resources, but they are never exhibited and then to put it on sort of a Marvel epic scale of exhibition, it really salves wounds in a really deep way.

Angela Bassett as Ramonda and Danai Gurira as OkoyeAngela Bassett as Ramonda and Danai Gurira as OkoyeCourtesy of Marvel Studios
 

Q: Chadwick, I heard I that it was especially important for you to have Black Panther speak in an African accent.  Can you elaborate on that a little bit?

  • Chadwick: The intonations and melodies inside an African accent are just as classical as a British one or a European one. All of the emotions and aspects and expressions of a character can be shown through that accent. If his ancestors had never been conquered and he’s never been conquered and Wakanda is what it is, he doesn’t have to go to Oxford, Cambridge or Yale to study. He actually got his education at home and he would not then assimilate a language that is the colonizer’s language in order to speak to his people.  So he had to speak with an African accent.

Q: Makes great sense.

Black Panther Movie PosterBlack Panther Movie PosterCourtesy of Marvel Studios

See Black Panther in theaters Friday, February 16th!

 

Have Your Say

Are you excited about seeing this cool Marvel comics hero? It is great that he is now part of The Avengers on film?  Exchange feelings below with a comment.