Watch Black Panthers Letitia Wright Give A Lesson In Girl Power

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by: Josh Newis-Smith
15 Feb 2018

Role models don’t come much better than this! Meet the break out star from Marvel’s cultural phenomenon, Black Panther.

Black Panther made history even before the first punter took their seat. Not only is it a superhero movie with a predominately black cast, who battle for power in the fictional technology advanced African state of Wakanda, it breaks down walls in every day life and provides powerful comments about our own existence.

As a result it’s already wiping the floor with the box office (sorry Fifty Shades!) and placed itself as one of the greatest Marvel films of all time. With such a platform it’s no surprise the Princess of Wakanda, AKA Letitia Wright has become a force to be reckoned with IRL.

The cast features a bevy of acting greats namely, Lupita Nyong’o and Forest Whitaker alongside the impressive, Michael B Jordan and Chadwick Boseman – impressive both in terms of their acting ability and gym honed visuals. However it’s the gadget making Shuri, played by Wright, who steals the spotlight with her own 2018 branding of girl power. Not only does this Princess fight hard, she also becomes the brains and heart of the film – a rare and considerable feet for any female in a super hero movie. But then again we do live in a post-Wonder Woman age.

Despite Hollywood knocking, nay, kicking down her door for more all Letitia is focusing on right now is, “living my best life,” as she confides to our Fashion and Celebrity Director, Josh Newis-Smith. Meet the woman who is about to inspire a thousand girls in her own epic words plus the British actress teaches you how to be an everyday superhero in the above video…

“I didn’t see a lot of role models or women who looked like me on screen when I was growing up. For me one thing that changed all of that was seeing Keke Palmer in Akeelah and The Bee. That film made me realize that I wasn’t an alien. I felt like I could relate to her and that she had something positive to contribute. It is a fictional story but her wanting to spell and thrive for something better and greater made me want to thrive for something better for myself.”

Black Panther has made me embrace my natural black hair. The representation of natural black hair in the film has made me reflect on myself. My hair is permed so when I finished the movie it really made me think, ‘man, what is it about my natural hair that I don’t like?’ Whilst filming I had to put in braids for instance and loving it made me take a step back. It’s a real journey for me and I am increasingly questioning why I don’t embrace my natural hair. It’s important we did show a variety of black hairstyles too because if you want to show the continent of Africa you have to show women in a natural and real way.”

“When we started filming I thought I wasn’t good enough! From the overall experience I have learnt a lot about going into new experiences and dealing with that idea that you think you aren’t good enough. Most of the time, that isn’t true so instead I have learnt to put more trust into my talent and plough forward, give my best and to know when I am giving my best, I can just leave it. Once I have done that there is nothing else I can do, that has been the biggest learning curve for me. Black Panther has reminded me to be true to myself and not to let things get to my head.”

“I want people, no matter who they are to be inspired by Black Panther. Everyone’s experience and what they will learn from Black Panther will be different. I would love for people to number one, enjoy the movie and feel like they are happy they spent two hours of their life watching it. Then number two I really want the audience to come away and talk about the issues the movie deals with, especially our comments on politics.”

“The Black Panther stunt training reduced me to tears. At first the training was super hard and there were days when I went home and I cried because I just thought, ‘what am I doing?’ We trained with the Dora Melges from the actual film, which was a big deal, as they are huge and they can really fight. But what happened during the training was any time I failed they would shout, ‘you got this,’ so they would uplift me. They were my sisters. That really helped me to get through.”

“When I need motivation I just think I can do everything if I maintain a strong sense of will. I am a Christian so my faith keeps me together and motivates me to get through a lot of hard times. I lean on myself, and the strength of god, because it’s hard out here. It’s hard to stay focused and do things like stunt training. I also play my own music, then nothing can stop me, I am all the way up!”

“The Black Panther costumes are banging! The designer, Ruth E Carter slam-dunked the costumes in this film. I didn’t get to keep a lot of stuff but I got to take some cool Vans home – some platform ones! She’s definitely influenced my style too as before the film I hated wearing dresses, I hated being girly but as I started to work with Ruth she was putting stuff on me that really fitted my body so I was thinking, ‘oh I am skinny but I can still look feminine!’ Now I am getting my glam on!

“I want to go forth and do something positive on this earth. That is something that drives me all the time. I want to be here and leave a mark. It might not be a huge difference, it might just be that I was in Black Panther and that I got someone to think about a career in science or I encouraged someone to chase their own dreams. If that happens it was all worth it.”

Watch the video above to see Letitia Wright teach Joshington Hosts how to become an everyday Marvel superhero.


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