'Black Panther's Sterling K. Brown Weighs In On If Killmonger Is A Villain

Black Panther star Sterling K. Brown, who plays disgraced Wakandan Prince N'Jobu and father of [...]

Black Panther star Sterling K. Brown, who plays disgraced Wakandan Prince N'Jobu and father of Erik 'Killmonger' Stevens (Michael B. Jordan), calls the discussion surrounding Killmonger's status as a villain "the most fascinating conversation to come from the film."

"The whole concept of Killmonger, is he a villain or does he represent us — especially African-Americans?" Brown said in a conversation with ABC News.

"He is a villain because, while his intentions, and N'Jobu's intentions for that fact, are honorable, they didn't necessarily go about it [in a way] that would actually bring about the change that they want."

Brown says his onscreen son committed several heinous acts in his mission, like nonchalantly gunning down his own girlfriend and burning Wakanda's prized heart-shaped herb, which grants the powers of the Black Panther to the warriors who imbibe it.

"He wasn't trying to create a legacy. He was like 'I want this for myself,'" Brown said. "That's where the intention gets confused with personal ambition, but what he was able to illuminate ... is that he is not without a point."

The actor conceded Killmonger's actions ultimately pointed out a problem that plagued both Wakanda and the real-life global community, explaining the isolationist and technologically advanced nation "has resources" and "access to technology" but are "keeping it to themselves."

"Not only have they've been keeping it to themselves, but people who have sought refuge, they have actively denied them that, and now we ask this question in this global community that we are all a part of: Am I my brother's keeper?" he added. "The answer is yes."

By the end of Black Panther, Killmonger's actions were, in part, responsible for helping push the fictional African nation into the spotlight.

Rightful inheritor of the throne, King T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman), adopted a more global worldview with an insistence on opening up Wakanda — and its fantastical resources — to a world in need.

Brown made history in January as the first Black actor to win the Screen Actors Guild Award for lead actor in a drama series, awarded to him for his work on acclaimed NBC drama This Is Us.

Black Panther is projected to cross the $1 billion mark globally this weekend. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige confirmed a sequel is on the way.

Black Panther is now playing. Stars Chadwick Boseman, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright and Winston Duke will return in Avengers: Infinity War, in theaters April 27.


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