How the 'Black Panther' Supporting Cast Makes the Hero

To say the cast of Black Panther is exceptional would be a big understatement. The highly anticipated film features stars like Lupita Nyong'o, Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Daniel Kaluuya -- and that is just to start. So, it is no surprise to hear their characters help shape T'Challa in some very big ways.

However, if you ask Chadwick Boseman who affects the hero the most, you'll be pointed to his little sister.

During a set visit to Black Panther last year, ComicBook.com had the chance to speak with Boseman about the film's supporting characters. When the star was asked which of those figures shape T'Challa the most, he had plenty to say about Shuri and actress Letitia Wright.

"The first one I have to talk about is actually Shuri," Boseman began. "For T'Challa to have a little sister -- it's not very often you see a superhero with a little sister. I think that it is probably not going to occur to people that it's an unusual thing, so I think it brings out a different part of his character."

"Usually, you have the damsel in distress," Boseman continued. "I don't think there are any damsels in distress in this movie. That doesn't exist in this movie. All these characters are strong. Even if it's not a physical prowess, there is a mental prowess. It's intelligence and savvy and so all of them present that, but the one that stands out the most actually is Shuri because she is a little sister and can poke at you. You're protective of her, but she still thinks she's your mother."

Of course, Boseman said Bassett's take on Ramonda was also one that shaped T'Challa. After all, mothers do tend to have such an effect on their sons.

"Obviously, you have Angela Bassett here," Boseman said. "She's incredible to watch and, again, she's always really strong. I would say in this movie because my father is dead it gives me the opportunity to sort of look to her for wisdom, and I think it shows the matriarchal African society in doing that. She's an advisor that I would go to. It's a close relationship, it's not just like she's my mother — she's by my side, she's not a figurehead mother."

As for Nyong'o and Danai Gurira, Boseman kept quiet about how their respective characters affect T'Challa specifically. He did say the talented actresses challenged the director with their takes on Nakia and Okoye before squaring up against the Black Panther themselves.

"They sort of attack T'Challa in the same way," the actor admitted. "They're not afraid to challenge him. I think it's cool to have conflict that's not, 'I'm going to kill you conflict.' You need other types of conflict to bring out other parts of your character. I think the fact that they present conflict without being enemies, in most cases, is a cool thing."

Black Panther currently has a ComicBook.com User Anticipation Rating of 4.17 out of 5, making it the second most anticipated upcoming comic book movie among ComicBook.com Users. Let us know how excited you are for Black Panther by giving the movie your own ComicBook.com User Anticipation Rating below.

0comments

Black Panther opens in theaters on February 16th.

Other upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movies includ; Avengers: Infinity War on May 4th, Ant-Man and the Wasp on July 6th, Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019, the fourth Avengers movie on May 3, 2019, the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming on July 5, 2019, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in 2020.