Black Panther Actors Discuss What It Was Like To Work On The Blockbuster Film

Black Panther Actors Discuss What It Was Like To Work On The Blockbuster Film

Have you seen Black Panther yet? If not it’s one you should see, but considering the Thursday box office apparently brought in more than $25.2 million it will be more shocking to find someone who hasn’t see the film yet.

We knew Black Panther was going to be big and when we attended the press junket in Los Angeles a couple of weeks back we got a first hand take from the actors and what they were feeling leading up to this epic blockbuster debut and about how the movie expressed some more pressing societal issues of today’s world.

Left to right: actors Winston Duke, Martin Freeman, Andy Serkis, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan, Chadwick Boseman, Angela Bassett, and Forest Whitaker, director Ryan Coogler, President of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige, and moderator Nischelle Turner

Ryan Coogler who directed Black Panther had this to say when he finally saw the finished product:

“Oh, man, I felt – I just felt incredibly blessed, you know, to have had the opportunity to make the film this way, to make the film with this studio, you know, working with Kevin and his team – Victoria Alonso, Louis D’Esposito, and Nate Moore, who Chadwick was just talking about – has been like – which is an incredible opportunity.  And it’s not something I ever imagined, you know, would happen.  And it’s good to work with some of my, like my – you know, my mentor, and these people who I’ve watched, you know, for my whole life, and some friends that I’ve made through this process.  I mean, it was – you know, it was incredible, when I had like 50 of my family members there, all from the Bay area; they were like, talking at the screen.  ‘Heh-heh-heh-heh’.”

Michael B Jordan-Black Panther-Erik Killmonger

Michael B. Jordan, who plays Erik Killmonger, said he was nervous to see Black Panther for the first time considering the hype around it:

“It was like, man, this is what it feels like,” he said. “…I couldn’t describe that feeling before actually sitting down and watching that film. And seeing yourself on screen – not me personally, but people who looked like you-you know, empowered, and having those, you know, socially relevant themes, but in a movie that you want to sit down and watch, and you can enjoy, that Marvel does so well. So I think it was a really good balance, and everybody won; everybody did amazing, amazing jobs in performances.”

Black Panther also portrays a strong female cast, one that you wouldn’t want to run into on the street after committing a crime that’s for sure – though we were surprised that Marvel went ahead and allowed this type of social construct to be shown in Black Panther. As a matter of fact, CineMovie asked about the film and how they were keeping it at a level to present very relevant social themes like isolationism without getting the studio to block them on the creative direction since these types of themes can often times turn away moviegoers.

In response studio head Kevin Feige said.

“Well I think it’s happened for the comics, it’s happened with the movie.  Ryan wrote this, for the most part, you know, a year and a half ago, two years ago so things have happened in the world which makes the film seem more relevant.   There are other things in the film that have been relevant for centuries, but the truth of the matter is Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and the whole Marvel bullpen created Wakanda and created T’Challa and created Black Panther and made him a smarter, more accomplished character than any of the other white characters in the mid 1960s.  So they had the guts to do that in the mid-1960s.  The least we can do is live up to that and allow this story to be told the way it needed to be told and not shy away from things that the Marvel founders didn’t shy away from in the height of the civil rights era.”

We have to applaud that and we really hope that moviegoers take away relevant messages from the movie and apply them to today’s world and without getting into spoilers we will say we were happily surprised with how T’Challa handled the future of Wakanda at the end of the film. We think that it was one of the smartest and most agreeable ways to bring Wakanda into the next phase especially with Avengers Infinity War coming out in just a few months.

As for the women, we honestly loved that the sister is the tech genius in the film, and we think this is important for women to see because it allows young girls to view a strong woman in the STEM arena actually succeeding and the fact that she is a woman of color is fantastic. For reference currently women only hold 30% of STEM degrees and we’d like to see that number increase in future years and representation like this matters.

Letitia Wright

 Pictured: Actors Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, and Danai Gurira

As a matter of fact when asked about Shuri, actress Letitia Wright, had this to say:

“I think – what I love about it, as well, with how it was written is that the men are always behind the women, as well.  So no one’s like undermined – like, the men are like, you know, ‘You shouldn’t be in technology, and you shouldn’t be in math.’  They’re like, ‘No, go ahead.’  Like, so T’Challa is like, ‘Go ahead, Sis.  This is your department.  This is your domain.  Like – kill it.”

Chadwick Boseman (T’Challa) had this to add to that:

“I want to speak to that in a real [INDISCERNIBLE].  [LAUGHTER]  I think, when you talk about what Wakanda is, and what it would have to be in order to progress to the place that we saw – even though we’re talking about a fantasy – the idea of an unconquered nation, that has not been, you know, tampered with by the various means that it would have been tampered with; the idea of the next generation being smarter, being better than you – is a concept that they would have evolved to that – you know, so even though she’s – she – we’re in the same generation, she’s my [SOUNDS LIKE youngest/younger] sister – she benefits from whatever I have reached.  So you want your sons and daughters to be better than you were.”

The fact is Black Panther isn’t just a set up for Avengers, but it really is a movie that speaks about social awareness and helps promote a better future. We honestly hope we’ll see more Shuris out in the world kicking ass in the future, but also generally making our future better with technology and science.

Now that the movie is out we have to ask what did you think of it? Did you enjoy the social construct? Did it go too far? Was the movie a nice set up for Avengers: Infinity War? Let us know in the comments below.

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