Chadwick Boseman on being the “Black Panther”

If you have seen even a fraction of a trailer for the new “Black Panther” movie, then you know this is a highly anticipated and action packed movie.  Chadwick Boseman, who graduated with a bachelor of fine arts in directing before going to the British American Drama Academy in Oxford, is no stranger to being a commanding leading player.

With film credits under his belt with portrayals of Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall, and James Brown, it is his role as the famous Marvel character T’Challa the ruler of Wakanda, a very mineral rich, if reclusive country in Africa.  First seen in the movie “Captain America: Civil War” he can be seen in the upcoming “Black Panther, “Avengers: Infinity War” this year as this powerful character.

The Black Panther – still from MARVEL

Boseman spoke to Cnet about the unique aspects that intrigued him to take on this character.

“I love that he thinks about other people. He’s not afraid to hear wise counsel. I think there is some fear of being wrong. I identify with that, with his plight, his personality. And I love him because the fantasy of playing a ruler — you never get to do that. You never get to explore what that is.  It’s fun having power and having a say in what happens to the people around you.”

Exploring how to best pursue this role, the idea of T’Challa being educated and molded in the ways of diplomacy anywhere but in his own country felt wrong for this character.

“I wanted to be completely sure that we didn’t convey that idea because that would be counter to everything that Wakanda is about. It’s supposed to be the most technologically advanced nation on the planet. If it’s supposed to not have been conquered — which means that advancement has happened without colonialism tainting it, poisoning the well of it, without stopping it or disrupting it — then there’s no way he would speak with a European accent.”

It also adds to the sincerity of how he could communicate and galvanize his people with a voice that is unique to Wakanda.

“Because it’s not just about him running around fighting. He’s the ruler of a nation. And if he’s the ruler of a nation, he has to speak to his people. He has to galvanize his people. And there’s no way I could speak to my people, who have never been conquered by Europeans, with a European voice.

“Black Panther” opens nationwide February 16th, 2018  and “Avengers: Infinity War” opens on May 4th, 2018.

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