The star of Black Panther might have portrayed the King of Wakanda, but it was the villain's motivations that resonated most with him.
Chadwick Boseman revealed his feelings on Erik Killmonger during a discussion with co-star Lupita Nyong'o and author Ta-Nehisi Coates at the Apollo Theater last night, in celebration of the Marvel Studios phenomenon.
Coates asked the actors about how Killmonger's motivations resonated with fans, given that they were noble yet misguided in wanting to arm black people around the world and give them the means to rise up and take their freedom from oppressors.
Boseman, as reported by EW, said he understood where Killmonger was coming from and could identify more with him given the actor's background being raised in South Carolina. As opposed to T'Challa, who was "born with a Vibranium spoon in his mouth."
That motivation was a very conscious decision on part of the filmmakers, who wanted the villain to resonate with fans for the right reasons. Executive producer Nate Moore told us previously that they wanted the character to represent a different viewpoint of the world than the throne of Wakanda.
"I think Killmonger has his own opinion on how Wakanda has been run and should run," Moore said, "and what I think Michael [B. Jordan] brings to the table is sort of a charming antagonist, who doesn’t agree with how T’Challa is running things, frankly. I think that puts T’Challa in a difficult situation. Killmonger is a voice of a different side of Wakanda."
Jordan himself admitted that the headspace of Killmonger was a challenge as an actor as he had
"It took me to a dark place," Jordan said to Empire. "Honestly, I can’t really go through all I went through to get into it because I want to keep that close to me. But it stuck with me afterwards."
He praised his co-star in Boseman and said he "had a lot of fun on set."
"Chadwick’s a very talented dude," Jordan says. "There’s a lot of physical moments and action sequences throughout this film that cause us to really challenge ourselves, and also fall deeper into character."
Black Panther is currently in theaters where it continues to break records at the box office. The film is on pace to make over $500 million domestically this weekend and has already made over $700 million worldwide.