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March 3, 2018 9:57 AM   Subscribe

The Atlantic's Ta-Nehisi Coates interviews Black Panther stars Chadwick Boseman and Lupita Nyong'o at Harlem's legendary Apollo theater. [1:09:05 video.]

6 minutes in, Ta-Nehisi Coates talks about how he didn't realize how much he needed the film. 8 minutes in, Boseman talks about the story of the film and how he had ideas before being asked to play the role. 13 minutes in, Lupita talks about coming in to play Nakia, and how her character differs from the comics.

There are a ton of different topics and jokes, a young boy dressed up as the Black Panther gets his mask signed by Chadwick, and Howard University folks make their presence known. One of the most moving parts, at around 35 minutes in, is Coates and Nyong'o discussing the role of television & media and the impact representation has on the construction and sustainment of the self. Another version of the video is here.
posted by cashman (12 comments total) 49 users marked this as a favorite
 
Damn. So at like 9:30 something Boseman is discussing how important it was to get the accent down in Civil War to pave the way for this storyline. He is talking about how he knew that the idea of the culture being the oldest on Earth would remain but that the accent had to be decided upon.

And there were discussions that "this accent couldn't be African and people couldn't listen to this accent for an entire movie, from a lead character. I felt like there was the possibility of this accent being classical, of elevating the language. You know, because when I listen to people throughout the diaspora speak, they actually articulate more."

I seriously started crying. I'm afraid of making a gaffe in how I say this but I'm just horrified that there would even have been any thought whatsoever that Black Panther would not have SOME kind of African accent. That would be like wondering if Shakespeare should have some kind of British accent or if people could actually sit through a whole play like that.

I'm glad his thoughts on this won out.

And for god's sake it's unfortunately another example of white privilege I can pull out if needed.

Thanks for posting this. I'm still so heartened by the impact of this movie and I hope it continues to inspire and have impact.
posted by sio42 at 12:02 PM on March 3 [13 favorites]


Also, Lupita Nyong'o didn't believe it was an actual super hero movie Marvel had greenlit because it was so socially and politically aware. Her telling of how she heard the story is funny and right after the part above :)
posted by sio42 at 12:09 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


I haven't seen it yet, so I'll hold off on the interview for now*, but I want to jump in here to say how excited I am that Lupita is playing Trevor Noah's mother in the film adaptation of Born a Crime, Trevor's autobiography.

If you haven't read it, I highly recommend the audiobook read by the man himself. He is a comedian and the spoken word is his art, so go directly to the audiobook.

It's so great to hear the adaptation is in good hands.

*unless someone can reassure me it won't spoil the movie.
posted by adept256 at 12:21 PM on March 3 [3 favorites]


I haven't seen it yet (going tomorrow) but I already know the story anyways.

This is actually really interesting stuff because they both get into the motivations for their characters and some of the other ones.
posted by sio42 at 12:37 PM on March 3


Ok I promised myself I wouldn't flood w comments here but honestly little Karry (sp?) in his Black Panther costume and hair cut getting up on stage and spelling his name so Black Panther can sign his mask his adorable and touching and funny.

And then he had a good question too. "How did it feel when you were Black Panther?"

That kid is gonna never take his costume off. :)

Also it's dusty in here. Hella dusty.
posted by sio42 at 1:09 PM on March 3 [4 favorites]


Just finished watching. The movie felt important after seeing it the first time, more so after witnessing the conversations it generated, and even more so after seeing it the second time. It may be trite, but I think that there is something positive to be hoped for in the idea of it being a "black Star Wars". This interview, particularly the first half, continues the important conversations.
Thank you for sharing it, as my normal world may not have raised it to attention.
posted by meinvt at 1:13 PM on March 3 [3 favorites]


More meta/interview/commentary links and discussion happening at the fanfare thread so come join in!

And sio42, I've mentioned in the thread that as well, about the accent work. I've been giving Chadwick Boseman full credit for that choice (usually in response to any convo about the ... variability of the quality of the accents), because he really was the only one who was in any position to lead on character creation when he was attached to be Black Panther in Civil War (since no one else was yet decided). Between that and John Kani's suggestion to use his native Xhosa, it really went a long way, and was such a quick and elegant way to telegraph what Black Panther would and could be as an IP.
posted by cendawanita at 9:00 PM on March 3 [2 favorites]


Oh man. Just got out of the theater. Watching this interview really made me appreciate it a lot more and I had tears rolling down many times.

That was a hell of a movie.

Wakanda forever.
posted by sio42 at 8:14 AM on March 4 [3 favorites]


Oh goodness, when they show that Wakanda-forever-mass-selfie at the very end... I’d just gotten the dust out of my eyes from when it got kicked up by the little boy going on stage, but there the dust was again in the air.
posted by Kattullus at 11:21 AM on March 4 [2 favorites]


I just watched the Jimmy Fallon bit where people are telling a movie poster what the movie meant to them and then Chadwick comes out. And THAT has me tearing up AGAIN.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=expKmfdoo28

There's a kid in there who is charmingly just stunned and genuinely speechless. It's adorable. He can't even move.

The woman who says that the women in are not strong out of hurt or pain but just their own strength... That got me in the feels.
posted by sio42 at 11:44 AM on March 4 [5 favorites]


If you want more Lupita goodness please seek out Queen of Katwe, it's a heartwarming and not-too-Disneyfied story that got completely lost on first release.
posted by Gin and Broadband at 3:56 PM on March 4


I can't believe, and didn't realise, this has never been shared before in any of the BP threads, so am linking it here (instead of the Fanfare one): Wesley Snipes Reveals Untold Story Behind His 'Black Panther' Film . This was published two weeks before this movie was released, so it's a bit sweet knowing how well the anticipation turned out.

"I think Black Panther spoke to me because he was noble, and he was the antithesis of the stereotypes presented and portrayed about Africans, African history and the great kingdoms of Africa," Snipes tells THR. "It had cultural significance, social significance. It was something that the black community and the white community hadn’t seen before."

Created in 1966 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Black Panther was revolutionary as the first African superhero in mainstream comics. The king and kick-butt protector of Wakanda had it all: brawn, brains, wealth and advanced technologies.

Snipes was hooked in an instant when he and his then manager, Doug Robertson, were approached by Marvel for the project. Feeling that Africa, save for the unique animal population, was too commonly shown in film as a depressing, desolate land, Snipes yearned to show its beauty and lush history.

"Many people don’t know that there were fantastic, glorious periods of African empires and African royalty — Mansa Musa [emperor of the West African Mali Empire] and some of the wealthiest men in the world compared to the wealth of today," Snipes explains. "That was always very, very attractive. And I loved the idea of the advanced technology. I thought that was very forward thinking."


Who knew because this didn't pan out, he went ahead with Blade? Which kickstarted Marvel's film ambitions, and now this BP, which looks to be on track to the best-performing MCU movie to date. (well, let's see how China reacts)
posted by cendawanita at 9:18 AM on March 7


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