Fun Times With The Cast & Filmmakers of Marvel’s Black Panther!

Hey All!

I recently had the amazing opportunity to attend the Marvel’s Black Panther press event and I have to say it felt incredible and historic in my opinion. It was so amazing to see a movie finally coming to the big screen that I’ve been waiting so long to see. In attendance were the cast and film makers of the film including Chadwick Boseman (“T’Challa / Black Panther”), Lupita Nyong’o (“Nakia”), Michael B. Jordan (“Erik Killmonger”), Danai Gurira (“Okoye”), Angela Bassett (“Ramonda”), Forest Whitaker (“Zuri”), Andy Serkis (“Ulysses Klaue”), Martin Freeman (“Everett K Ross”), Daniel Kaluuya (“W’Kabi”), Winston Duke (“M’Baku”), Letitia Wright (“Shuri”), Director Ryan Coogler, and Producer Kevin Feige!

I couldn’t wait to hear what the cast and filmmakers had to say about the movie.

They also had the costumes from the film on display, which was so awesome to see!

I know, you’re first thought is they look so much bigger in the movie, but the details on these costumes is amazing!

The junket was held like a Q&A with a moderator. Here are some of the fun things the cast and filmmakers spoke about during the junket.

They asked the cast: At the premiere, 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?


I mean, I’d been waiting a long time for this. 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, you know, 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. And of course, to see it with everyone.


The initial phone call from Kevin Feige, Louis D’Esposito, Nate Moore and the Russo Brothers 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. And I think when I was shooting Civil War, I was not aware that other people weren’t aware that this was going to happen, because it was such at the forefront of my mind, you know, and when we did the introduction at El Capitan.  But at the same time, I love the fact that it’s a surprise to people.

They asked Kevin Feige, why Chadwick for Black Panther?


I think you hear people say this all the time when you’re in a setting like this. But he was the only choice. 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 and 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 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. And he was in the back of a limo, where were you, in Switzerland?


We were in Zurich, yeah, in Zurich. And I was 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. I literally heard somebody say, ‘Hey, get international on your phone. Call your mom.’ It’s some important stuff, literally, that happened, and then that night he called.

They asked Ryan Coogler if he was really nervous and excited once he saw the film with an audience and what did he think.


Oh, man, 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 and working with Kevin and his team – Victoria Alonso, Louis D’Esposito, and Nate Moore, who Chadwick was just talking about. It has been 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 mentors, 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 incredible, when I had like 50 of my family members there, all from the Bay area; they were like, talking at the screen.  I just felt really fortunate, you know, like more than anything I really feel I’m fortunate for that opportunity.

They asked Forest Whitaker what he thought of Ryan Coogler and I loved what he had to say!


I knew it from the moment that I met him. I mean, when he started to express himself, and I could feel, like, the center of what he wanted to communicate to the world, and how he wanted to touch the world, and it really was a really powerful thing to see. And then I think when he started to talk to me about his ideas – at that time, he was in school, I remember thinking, you know, this person, if he’s given the right space, he’s going to do something that can change our lives in some way. And I thought that Fruitvale was that thing. That was the thing that he suggested, one of the projects he had, and really believed in it. And I was fortunate enough that he felt comfortable with us, like, producing that for him, and working with him on it. It for me, I’m just blown away,  just watching his growth, every time, to see him really – how he’s able to just manifest so much importance, and you know, in socially relevant moments, inside of things that we want to sit and watch. And so it’s been quite a powerful experience for me last night to watch that.

They asked Michael B. Jordan how he felt when he saw the film for the first time at the premiere. 


Last night was the first time I saw the film. And I think I had a little bit of that. I call Ryan the night before – or the day before – day of. 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. I was like – in the back of my head I’m like, ‘Yeah, that’s never gonna happen but I’m gonna try.’ And 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. There’s nothing that I could have said to 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 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. And it was an incredible film last night.

They asked the women of the movie how proud of their characters and the film they all were!


Extraordinarily so and so pleased that this story, you know, written by Ryan and Joe Robert Cole, and Marvel, that it supported that. You know, in African culture they feel as if there is no king without a queen. And I think in this story, it highlights the queen, you know, 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. There were so many amazing female characters, too, which is not in a lot of movies, and sometimes, you know, comics have a kind of weird history sometimes with female characters. These were fully developed women in this movie, which I loved.


Yeah, okay, I’ll talk. 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, you know, because you don’t actually get to hear that often. You don’t actually get to hear that often. Youdon’t actually get sat down and hear that type of a vision. And then it embodied with us being on the continent, women from the continent, but very developed, very complex. It was amazing. I mean, it was just like, this is going to something else and I just want to watch it. I get to be in it? I just want to watch this.  I mean, it was amazing, the idea of, you know, with the Doramalage and the whole concept of them, and then to see them come to life, and then these astounding women who I started training with. I was the first one to get my head shaved, and you know, in theory, it sounded amazing. And then the day came and I was like, ‘Was it today?’ I had like, a ‘fro, and then like, you know, it happened. And then you go into the restroom to wash your hands, and you look up, you go, ‘And what the….’ You know. And it took a few days. And then all the girls started coming in, we’d all been balded, one by one. You know, and it was just like everybody got their caps on. And then the pride started to grow, you know. This pride around it, and this sort of embracing of this sort of symbol of power in these women. And then beauty of how he wrote that moment – I loved that moment where she like, doesn’t want a wig. She doesn’t want to cover up. This is her joy, and her pride, is in walking in with that – with that bald head with that tattoo on it. It was so subversive, you know, and it’s so subversive in the right way, to say – we – that’s not – be – that’s necessarily beauty. You don’t have to have hair to be beautiful. So I thought that was really fun. There’s so many great things I could say about how Ryan developed these women characters, and allowed us to collaborate. I feel really blessed about, and excited.

And last but not least, they asked Chadwick why it was especially important for him to have Black Panther speak in an African accent. 


I will try to be as quick as possible. You know I think as actors, this is separate from the movie, but there is, when you’re trained very often from a European perspective. What is considered great or classical is very often British and it’s certain writers and I happen to come from a background that does not believe that, you know. I went to Oxford to study, but I went to Howard and we were taught to respect our writers and our classics just as much and believe that it takes the same skill level and same technique and sometimes techniques that are a little bit different to pull that off. And so I think you have to to tell the stories and be true to yourself as an artist. And in this there’s no reason, you know, 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, you know. And it was not Kevin by the way, so just making sure you know that. People outside Marvel as well and so I became adamant about the fact that that is not true. That the intonations and melodies inside an African accent are just as classical as a British one or a European one and that all of the emotions and aspects of a character can be shown and expressions can be shown through that accent and we have to take this opportunity to show that and he just wouldn’t, if he had never been conquered, 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 to study. He doesn’t have to go to Cambridge or Yale or any place 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.

It was such an honor to be able to meet and chat with these amazing actors! I can’t tell you how much I love them all and I can’t wait to share my thoughts on the film with you. Spoiler alert! I loved it!

BLACK PANTHER arrives in theatres everywhere on February 16, 2018!  Get your tickets now!
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