One.More.Week!!! That’s right, the moment we have all been waiting for happens in 7 days. Black Panther releases nationwide next Friday. Today, I’m sharing our interview with Daniel Kaluuya and Letitia Wright who play “W’Kabi” and “Shuri” respectively.
This was such a fun interview, I truly enjoyed both of them. I’ve stated in my previous post my pride in seeing Daniel Kaluuya win. And if you didn’t know, he is the first actor of Ugandan origin to get nominated for an Oscar.
So let’s get into it!
What type of training did they go through to prepare for Black Panther?
Daniel shared that they did a lot of sword training. “I think what was amazing, everyone had to have their own fighting style that reflects their character. We had to learn from scratch. It was a long process of learning.”
What they shared about being on social media
Daniel shared that he is not a big fan of being on social media. He likes to be “ghost”. He shared that he wants to do the work, connect and empower people. When he’s shooting films it’s his thing and then once it’s done and released it’s ours. It’s no longer theirs.
Letitia chimed in that she is “semi-ghost” on social media simply for the fact that she doesn’t want anyone to pretend to be her.
She shared that in London it’s a completely different world. They are not addicted to or on social media like we are here. They don’t look to social for results or to see what people are thinking. They like to do the work and then hide. LOL
Even with Black Panther, although the two have been like brother and sister for a long time, it was in casual conversation that Daniel told Letitia about his role in the film.
Daniel said it’s a little strange because people talk about you on social media like you can’t see what they’re saying. Letitia followed up by saying when strangers say they love her, she’s always wondering if they would love her if they knew what she looked like when she woke up in the morning.
We all had a good laugh at that one! But Daniel does realize that after his recent Oscar nomination and the upcoming release of Black Panther, it’s going to definitely be harder and harder to hide! Ha!
About the comedy in the film and working on set
I shared in my movie review that this film will literally take you through every emotion there is to take you through. So I wanted to keep it light because they both brought some of the comedy to the big screen.
My question was around whether or not there were certain scenes they had to keep reshooting because they couldn’t control their laughter.
To my surprise, Letitia explained that she didn’t even expect it because she didn’t go into it expecting to be funny.
She just felt that the writing was so good. So she really spent time studying the script, and then would find herself coming up with different things.
Daniel jumped in to say that what makes Letitia’s performance in this film so amazing, is her honesty. “And then it’s about love for her brother. She’s just trying to tell the truth”.
Daniel and Letitia share what they want to make sure gets across to the audience, as well as what they learned from being in this film?
Daniel thought this to be tough because he felt that Killmonger’s one of the best villains he’s seen because of the way he deals with his pain.
He went on to explain that a lot of our (African American) films deal with trauma. But this film deals with it and talks about these different roads you can go down. This is why it’s even more powerful that this film is being released during Black History Month.
About Black Panther, he says this:
“It’s about joy, it’s about brother and sister, it’s about family, it’s about its’ communities, about a nation, it’s about pride…”
During this interview Kaluuya shares how he connected with the character [Killmonger] bbecause of his own upbringing. He is from Uganda (both of his parents are) but was born in England. He can’t speak the language (something else we have in common). He’s not black enough to be in America and he’s battled with “belonging”, whether it’s in England or Uganda. He said that basically, “you’re not really British, you’re not really Ugandan.”
People see his name and call him by his tribe name, but his language is completely different. And without giving away any spoilers, there’s a scene in which Killmonger shares the same sentiments as Kaluuya’s real life.
Letitia dishes on what it feels like to portray a black princess on film
“This is something I would pray when I was a teenager just getting into acting. Whatever I do, I just want to be a vessel to be of inspiration. Doesn’t have to necessarily mean that that character is not flawed or perfect or has to be a perfect character but just to inspire.”
She shared that when the opportunity arose, she understood the magnitude of playing Shuri from reading the comic books. She took it in but then had to give herself pep talks so that it didn’t overwhelm her.
“I understood that I’m standing with Daniel, Lupita, Chad, Ryan; I understand what was going on. I could see what was going on and I could see what would be the result. Just telling the truth and then knowing that as long as I do that and do it to the best of my ability, and I am a vessel for that, then hopefully by God’s grace like young people will be inspired.”
She shared how she loves that Shuri can be a vessel to make science cool, and hopefully inspire young kids through her character.
All about Marvel’s Black Panther
Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER follows T’Challa who, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king. But when a powerful old enemy reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king—and Black Panther—is tested when he is drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people and their way of life.
Check out this Marvel Kinetic Energy Film Clip:
In case you missed my previous Black Panther Posts:
Don’t forget to:
BLACK PANTHER arrives in theatres nationwide on February 16, 2018 (ONE WEEK to go)!
This trip to LA to cover the Black Panther premiere was sponsored by Disney. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.