There come points in time in life where all-star casts are assembled for movies that garner much deserved attention. Movies like, The Godfather, Inception, Pulp Fiction, Lord of the Rings, Saving Private Ryan and many more have had people seething to see it and let the world know about it. Films like Django that bring so much buzz from promotional photos to trailers, people are counting down the days until it is officially released or just its premiere. Moments like this seem to happen and each time the bar is raised higher and higher. The same can be said with Marvel Studios newest film Black Panther.
However this time the buzz was centered on not just the films titular character, played by Chadwick Boseman but its supporting cast of strong women. Women that include Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o who plays Nakia the ex-girlfriend of T’Challa, Oscar-nominee Angela Bassett who portrays T’Challa’s mother Rowanda, Danai Gurira is Okoye and Letitia Wright who plays Shuri, T’Challa’s younger sister, who is the creator of the majority of updated technology and weapons within Wakanda. This buzz continued well after the highly praised and reviewed premiere into the film’s Global Press Junket on January 30th in Beverly Hills.
All of the stars of the film including director Ryan Coogler and Marvel Studios President and Producer, Kevin Feige were in attendance. The Conversation to the cast focused primarily on is powerful female characters. When asked how proud she was to look at the screen and seeing herself and the other women so powerful, beautiful and regal on screen, Angela Bassett who portrays the Queen Mother, Rawonda said,
“I was so pleased at this story and how it was supported.” Bassett went on to say, “In African culture they feel there is no king without a queen. I feel this story it highlights the queen, the warrior, the general and the younger sister.”
Nyong’o (Lupita) who plays the love interest and ex-girlfriend to the king was asked about her feelings during the premiere and what was going through her mind when the lights went down in the theater and she knew she was about to experience Black Panther. Lupita says, “I’ve been waiting a long time for this. This was a movie that we all felt a lot of ownership. When you make a movie like this and of this scale so much happens between the time you film it until you see it.”
Danai Gurira, who plays the general of the ALL WOMEN ELITE GUARD to the king, the Dora Milaje (which translated means “The Adored Ones”) spoke to her experience and shaving her head.
“Ryan (Coogler) sat me down and talked to me about the vision of the characters, and I was floored.” On the idea of the Dora Milaje, the idea of these women was amazing, the concept of them.” Gurira went on to talk about being bald, “on the first day there was a shock…then there was a level of pride amongst the women portraying the Dora Milaje a pride around it.”
Strength and power seen of these women is carried over to who is arguably the shining star of the film Letitia Wright. Wright, who plays T’Challs’s younger sister, is a genius but also still a teenager. With so many snaps and comebacks, Wright’s character keeps the cast surrounding her on their toes and brings a lot of laughs along with her. She was asked what her favorite weapon or gadget she began by joking “I created all of them.”
The women of Black Panther take center stage for everyone to see, when the film is released in theaters on February 16th.