Letitia Wright opens up about the instant connection she had with her late Black Panther co-star Chadwick Boseman in a new interview with British Vogue.
The 27-year-old British actress pays tribute to Boseman in the latest issue, calling him her “big brother” and recounting the first moment they met during her audition for the Marvel blockbuster.
“From the moment we met, I loved Chadwick Boseman. I landed in Los Angeles in September 2016, called to audition for a Marvel Studios film that was to be directed by Ryan Coogler. It was clear this was a big deal. I was only 22 and incredibly nervous, but Chad — already cast as the lead — walked in with a smoothie, laid-back and cool. I heard God speak to my heart; that he would be my brother, and that I was to love him as such,” tells British Vogue.
“As we read our lines, playing siblings for the first time, my hand reflexively went to his chest, over his heart surprising me. Why was I touching the chest of a man I’d just met? But then he wrapped his huge, beautiful hands around mine and held them there,” she continued.
“It became more than an audition scene. I felt I had found the big brother I never had. The next time we met, on set in Atlanta, his energy was lower. He said he was just tired, flying coast to coast to test with different actors, and I worried our connection wasn’t clicking anymore. But, unbeknown to me, he had already told his team and Marvel that he felt like he had found his sister in me,” Wright added.
Boseman died in August after a 4-year private battle with colon cancer. He was 43. Wright will forever be grateful to the actor for allowing her “to be a part of his world,” as the role of Shuri in Black Panther “change m life forever,” she said.
“I wish I had got to say goodbye,” write shared with British Vogue about Boseman’s tragic death. “I wish that I could tell him how much he inspired me. How cherished he is by the world. How grateful I am to him for seeing me, a young Black woman from Guyana – a small fish in a big pond. How his yes for me to be a part of his world changed my life forever. For his selfless act of sharing his spirit and gift with us.”
Boseman was posthumously nominated for an Academy Award on Monday for his final performance in the Netflix hit Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. The role also earned him a nomination in the best leading actor category at the BAFTAs.
Read More: Chadwick Boseman makes Oscars history
Meanwhile, theGRIO previously reported, many Black Panther fans have been left wondering where the Black Panther franchise will go without Boseman as King T’Challa. In an interview with Deadline, Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, debunked rumors of a CG version of Boseman, explaining, “we’re not going to have a CG Chadwick and we’re not recasting T’Challa. Ryan Coogler is working very hard right now on the script with all the respect and love and genius that he has, which gives us great solace, so it was always about furthering the mythology and the inspiration of Wakanda.”
He also confirmed the Black Panther sequel will explore the “mythology and inspiration” of Wakanda. Feige told Deadline, “So much of the comics and that first movie is the world of Wakanda. Wakanda is a place to further explore with characters and different subcultures. This was always and initially the primary focus of the next story.”
Coogler wrote and directed the first Black Panther film and he is already underway on the sequel, which is slated for a summer 2022 release.
theGRIO’s Jared Alexander contributed to this story.
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