One of the most fun interviews we experienced during the #BlackPantherEvent was with Daniel Kaluuya and Letitia Wright. Daniel plays W’Kabi in Black Panther, and Letitia plays Princess Shuri, King T’Challa’s little sister. The fun part of this interview is that Daniel and Letitia are good friends, and their energy was contagious. Hearing them uplift and celebrate each other was so great. Here are some of our favorite parts of their interview.
The Hair of a Princess
Within Black Panther, we see the importance of hairstyles and what they represent. When asked how her hairstyles were created, Letitia gave all props to her hairstylist on set, Nikki Wright.
“Nikki would come in and be like, ‘what are you wearing?’ and she would see roughs of pictures from Ruth (Costume Designer Ruth E. Carter). Then, she would start designing on my head. And then we would go and show Ryan, and then he would love it.”
Intense Sword Training
Both Daniel and Letitia endured lots of training for their roles in Black Panther. Most of their work creating their characters was developing their unique fighting styles. Daniel commented:
“I think what was amazing (is) everyone had to have their own fighting style. Everyone had their own fighting style that reflects their character. W’Kabi is more like a fierce, ruthless, kind of bub.”
Daniel mentioned that most of their fight scenes were in the moment, and based on what they had learned over the past weeks or months. It was a very fluid process.
They Are “Ghost” On Social Media
This was the most intriguing part of our interview. Both Daniel and Letitia have decided to not spend much time on social media. They told us that in London, social media isn’t a big mainstay for actors in their society. While Daniel is completely “ghost” on social media, Letitia claims to be “semi-ghost”:
Letitia – “I’m semi-ghost. So, I’ve got Instagram, and I really don’t want to have one, but I don’t want anyone to pretend to be me.”
Daniel – “I had a year of people pretending to be me.”
Both Daniel and Letitia said that most English actors will “do the work and hide,” instead of searching on social media for reactions to their work. As a group of bloggers who constantly work on social media, this conversation really hit us. It was refreshing to hear these two young actors proclaim that having a social media presence isn’t a big deal to them.
A New Black Princess
Letitia’s role as Shuri is going to inspire many little girls in the world, because not only is she the most intelligent women in the world, she’s an African princess. When asked if she understood how this role in the Marvel Universe will cause a positive ripple, Letitia exclaimed:
“It’s crazy, because this film is pretty much years of prayer. This is something I would pray (for) 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 the character is not flawed or perfect, or has to be a perfect character, but just to inspire. Hopefully by God’s grace, young people will be inspired. (Shuri) is a scientist, she’s really cool, and if you grab something from this, grab it and go.”
There was so much more to this interview, but these were some of the moments that touched me as a fan and a writer. Did you miss our past interviews with the rest of the cast? Click here: