There are a few times in movies that I’m proud to be a woman. Seeing all the women in Black Panther and how they use their strengths is one of those moments. We had a Brief Talk with Lupita Nyong’o & Danai Gurira and their fabulousness transfers to their every day life as well. Lupita Nyong’o plays Nakia and Danai Gurira plays Okoye.
I loved their graciousness when they came in the room with us. The first thing they said was “What a beautiful table!” But we were just as amazed by their beauty. Both were dressed impeccably and Lupita had on these shoes! Oh her shoes! I wish I could walk in heels because hers were stunning.
I think one of the best questions asked of them was what part of their characters did they identify with and helped develop those characters into the strong women they are. And the women characters are strong and dominant in this movie. I love that Lupita identifies with Nakia’s independent spirit and hr loyalty to her country. These are both important character traits that I want my daughter to see and find in herself. I think this is important for all of our girls. They need to know that they can ask for help but they cannot back down when they can do something for themselves. They should speak up and take charge! Nakia is the chosen warrior and a war dog (undercover spy).
“I love a woman who is on a mission to make a difference.”- Lupita Nyong’o
Danai Gurira related to Okoye’s power of purpose and her dedication to her nation. Again showing our children to go after your dreams. While Okoye followed her purpose in life to become the warrior that she is, Danai, once she decided what she wanted to do she was very clear about it. When speaking with us, Danai got personal about her love of Africa. “The passion I have for what I feel the continent could be is very strong in me.” Danai writes plays that go on the same concept and it is very important to her. So to have a movie that shows what it could be and fueled her connection to the character.
There are quite a few scenes that involved fighting and hand to hand combat, because of that the cast all had hours of training. Lupita and Danai had different trainers which was important as their characters had different combat styles. Each trainer taught them how to use a specific style for their scenes.
“My style is very traditional while her’s is more get the job done.”Danai Gurira on fighting styles.
Both ladies talked about one particular scene in detail but I don’t want to spoil it for you! It is honestly one of my favorite scenes in the movie. There is some hilarity as well as intensity. Both ladies are in combat but continue to stand tall and be graceful. The training became a big part of becoming their characters.
“Understanding how someone fights reveals a lot about what their values are and who they are.” – Lupita Nyong’o.
My favorite quote of the day is this:
“Strength does not mean an absence of vulnerability.”- Lupita Nyong’o
The ladies were discussing what it took to make their characters the strong women they were. This statement holds so true in our every day lives. We can be strong and independent but also know our limits and when we need to step away.
There are many different hairstyles for the female characters in the movie. When working on the movie, the designers and Ryan Coogler played around with different hairstyles to be able to pull from African cultures across the nation both traditionally and currently. Danai had to shave her head for her role an now embraces it.
“There is something really powerful about all the ways that hair was represented there. There are so many things that tell those of African descent or those that are categorized as other that there is one way that they should actually manifest themselves in society in order to be accepted.”- Danai Gurira
What did I walk away from with our Brief Talk with Lupita Nyong’o & Danai Gurira? That we as women can be strong and independent, show our vulnerability and wear our crowns in whatever fashion it comes.
Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER opens in theaters everywhere on February 16th!
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