I loved sitting in and listening to the Black Panther cast at the press conference! We learned a lot about what to expect from the film, check out these photos inside!
It’s Black Panther week, y’all! The movie is coming out this Friday, February 16th and it is about time! I am really excited for you all to see this movie, it is a great film with an extraordinary cast and the special effects are out of this world (You can read my Black Panther movie review here).
When I was in LA with Disney, we were able to sit into the Black Panther press conference, hear from the Black Panther cast, and revel in the moment. Questions were asked about the film to each actor, character descriptions were given, personal connections were shared, and I am really into how much each of these cast members LOVE working on this movie! Here are a few quotes and moments that I loved about the Black Panther press conference.
Marvel’s Black Panther Cast Press Conference Showed Us What To Expect From The Film
The press conference was moderated by Nischelle Turner, Entertainment Tonight host, and she did a great job of keeping the conversation flowing. She introduced Marvel President Kevin Feige, then Producer Ryan Coogler, and finally, the cast of the movie.
Kevin Feige was asked why he chose Chadwick Boseman to be Black Panther, and apparently, he was an instant thought! “It may not have been this fast, but in my memory, we were sitting around a table, we were coming up with the story for Civil War – Nate Moore, our executive producer, suggested bringing in Black Panther, because we were looking for sort of a third party who wouldn’t necessarily side with Cap [Captain America] or side with Ironman. And almost instantly, we all said Chadwick. And in my memory, although maybe it was the next day, we got him on a speaker phone right then.”
Producer Ryan Coogler says he feels so blessed to have been able to work on this movie. “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 for my whole life, and some friends that I’ve made through this process. I mean, it was incredible, when I had like 50 of my family members there, all from the Bay area; they were [all] talking at the screen.”
Lupita Nyong’o says she’s been waiting a long time for this movie to come out. “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. 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, you know – all the computer graphics stuff. Wakanda was built in a room with Ryan 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.” I think the rest of the Black Panther cast has the same sentiment.
After seeing the movie at the premiere the previous evening, Nischelle felt as though seeing this Black Panther cast on screen in a positive light, and in all of it’s majestic glory “this is what it means to feel good about who you are, and what you look like, and celebrating blackness, and oneness, and family, and culture, and all of that.” Michael B. Jordan agreed, and added “I called Ryan the night before and I was like, ‘Man, I’m anxious; I’m nervous, man. I don’t know what to expect.’ And he says, ‘Look, man, just look at it and try to be a fan. Just watch it, you know what I’m saying, and try to enjoy it.’ When I sat down with my family, and this family, and the audience and I had that same type of reaction, it was like, man, this is what it feels like. I couldn’t describe that feeling before actually sitting down and watching that film. He also said of his character as the villain Erik Killmonger, Marvel can inject “those socially relevant themes, but in a movie that you want to sit down and watch, and you can enjoy.” I think it’s safe to say that Michael relaxed and was able to enjoy the film after all!
The ladies of Wakanda all get huge stand out roles in this movie, and these may be my favorite characters in the whole Black Panther cast! Danai Gurira (Okoye) says that she feels a pride around her character. “There’s so many great things I could say about how Ryan developed these women characters, and allowed us to collaborate that I feel really blessed about, and excited.” She also says that as an African woman from the continent, seeing this vision come together was amazing. Shuri is played by Letitia Wright, a young, smart, and cool girl who loves her science and technology. Wright says, “I think what I love about it, with how it was written is that the men are always behind the women. So no one’s like undermined – like, the men are [not] like, ‘You shouldn’t be in technology, and you shouldn’t be in math.’ They’re like, ‘No, go ahead.’ T’Challa is like, ‘Go ahead, Sis. This is your department. This is your domain.’” Angela Bassett said, “You know, in African culture, they feel as if there is no king without a queen.” Girl, you better tell it!
Last but not least of the black Panther cast, we have King T’Challa himself, played by Chadwick Boseman. I think that he did a phenomenal job playing a calm, peaceful, yet I will kick butt King who truly wishes to protect the people and the resources of Wakanda. He touched on some of what Letitia Wright spoke about, regarding progress across the ages and genders. “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 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. So even though we’re in the same generation, she’s my younger sister – she benefits from whatever I have reached. You want your sons and daughters to be better than you were. You see the genius that is inside the people that come after you.”
He was also asked about using an African accents throughout the movie and how it would carry through the film and be perceived by audiences. Chadwick mentioned that European standards and accents are what have been historically known as great work, and he doesn’t come from a background that believes in that. “It takes the same skill level and same technique and sometimes techniques that are a little bit different to pull that off. I think you have to tell the stories and be true to yourself as an artist. In this there’s no reason for it because there was a time period where people were asking me questions about whether or not an audience could sit through a movie with a lead character who spoke with that accent.” He also says that if Wakanda was truly a place where his ancestors had never been conquered, this is the language and accent he would use to address the nation. “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. He had to speak with an African accent.”
Follow along with Marvel’s Black Panther cast, in theaters February 16th!
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I am attending a press trip courtesy of Disney. Travel, lodging and other logistics are provided, opinions are those of Honey + Lime.