A few weeks ago, I was able to attend the Black Panther Press Conference. In attendance was the entire lead cast of the film, as well as Head of Marvel Kevin Feige and Writer/Director Ryan Coogler. This was a big deal, you guys! There was so much shared during the press event, that there would be no way I could provide it all in a blog post. There were some astounding quotes said during the conference, and they are pretty telling of the high esteem the cast has for one another, and the storyline behind Black Panther.
Chadwick Boseman The Only Choice For Black Panther
Kevin Feige says that he and Nate Moore knew right away that Chadwick needed to be Black Panther.
“We were sitting around a table, 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 or side with Iron Man. 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.”
Forest Whitaker Says Ryan Coogler Will Change The World
Forest Whitaker, who plays Zuri in Black Panther, has known writer and director Ryan Coogler since before his directorial debut in Fruitvale Station. Forest has seen him grow through his craft, and shares that he thought of Ryan and his work early on.
“This person, if he’s given the right space, he’s going to do something that can change our lives in some way.”
Check out the exclusive interview we had with Forest Whitaker for more on his experience filming Black Panther.
Michael B. Jordan Shares Initial Reaction To Black Panther
Michael B. Jordan plays Erik Killmonger in the film, and shared with us that the Black Panther World Premiere in L.A. was the first time he’d seen the film, and he was very nervous to see it. But, once it started, his feelings changed.
“I couldn’t 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 socially relevant themes, but in a movie that you want to sit down and watch, and you can enjoy; Marvel does (that) 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.”
Angela Bassett Saw A Change In Her Own Children
The incomparable Angela Bassett plays Queen Ramona in Black Panther, and talks about how it felt to see her own children enjoy the film, and the pride they felt in themselves afterwards.
“I think in this story, it highlights the queen, the warrior, the general, the young sister.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. They stood taller after last night. “
Chadwick Shares Deep African Concept From The Film
Without giving away any spoilers, one of the most dynamic parts of the storyline is the relationship between T’Challa and Shuri (played by Letitia Wright). You see a respect between brother and sister, with an appreciation of a little sister that has a genius that can’t be rivaled. As her brother, T’Challa encourages his sister to walk in her greatness. Chadwick shares that this concept is not new to those that are raised by their older siblings, or are taught and celebrated by their ancestors/older relatives.
“You see the genius that is inside the people that come after you. And if you have an ancestor around, they’re looking at you like, you know, ‘I know you’re looking up to me, but we’re looking up to you.’ That is an African concept.”
This press conference was so amazing to listen to live, but if you would like to view the full conference, and hear some amazing revelations from the rest of the cast, watch it here:
Black Panther hits theaters February 16th!