Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War star Danai Gurira says there were major "learning curves" for her two biggest roles: Dora Milaje general Okoye, and The Walking Dead's katana-wielding zombie slayer Michonne.
"They were both so new to me," Gurira tells Entertainment Tonight from the set of Avengers: Infinity War.
The go-to weapon for Gurira's Wakandan warrior is a specialized Vibranium spear, while the samurai-like Michonne opts to chop both the living and the dead to pieces with her iconic curved blade.
"It was interesting, because there were certain forms that do parallel between training with a katana and training with a staff," Gurira says.
"But at the same time they're very significantly different — there were times with my staff where I'd do a thing like, 'oh, staffs don't do that, swords do that!'"
"So I had to reprogram in a lot of ways," Gurira explains, adding both weapons came with continuous "learning curves."
"There's never a time I'm like, 'I'm good, I got this,'" Gurira admits.
Asked if her Walking Dead training helped prepare her for sprawling Marvel epics Black Panther and Infinity War, Gurira says, "in a way, in some ways I really felt like I was training anew when I came here."
"And then in some ways there were things I could totally borrow from. But yeah, it was a beautiful, different style," Gurira adds of Wakandan loyalist Okoye.
"You know Michonne, she's very economical and efficient and very specific with her work, whereas Okoye, she's coming from a certain degree of style," Gurira says.
"And it's almost like there's so much tradition in what she's doing. So her approach is very by the traditional book in approaching how she moves, so they kind of overlapped a little bit, but largely they felt like I was learning anew both times."
Gurira has portrayed Michonne since season 3 of the hit zombie series, now in the second half of its eighth season. The actress is among the Walking Dead cast members to have re-signed with AMC to return for The Walking Dead season 9, expected to debut this October.
Black Panther has raced past the $1 billion dollar mark at the worldwide box office and is next expected to win its fifth consecutive weekend as we roll on towards Avengers: Infinity War, in theaters April 27.1comments
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