Letitia Wright Interview: Black Panther

Letitia Wright’s star has been rising rapidly over the past couple of years. She is most known for her breakout film Urban Myth. She also had a memorable turn as Renie, the teenager pretending to be a synth, on BBC’s Humans. After the success of Urban Myth, she was cast in Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One. And now she will be portraying T’Challa’s little sister Shuri in Marvel’s Black Panther.

Screen Rant got a chance to chat with Letitia Wright on press day, where we discussed the differences between comic book Shuri and the movie version of Shuri, where she would like to see Shuri go moving forward, and how she thinks the Black Panther movie transcends genre.

Screen Rant: This film is amazing, it’s brilliant!

Letitia Wright: Thank you!

SR: You crush it, I think you steal every scene, I love your character so much.

Letitia Wright: Bless you, man.

SR: You play Shuri with this infectious kind of attitude that is a lot of fun and it’s a lot different from her comic version a little bit-

Letitia Wright: Yes!

SR: -you know, you play the brainiac, you know what I mean? So what made you go with that choice?

Letitia Wright: I think that’s to do with the way that Ryan wanted it to be done because I did a little tiny bit of research before I went into the room and I found out that she was the Black Panther. When I realized the character I was going out for I found out that eventually she becomes the Black Panther [in the comics]. So I thought I had to go in being really serious. You know, no games, all serious, no messing around. And then yeah, like Ryan just really wanted it to be like really light and positive. So she's still super smart but where she is right now, she's just a teenager and it's just like, positive energy. So I carry that a lot, I’m just someone that wants to be positive so he would just like, “Draw from that, put it into Shuri, combine the two and we're going to have Shuri.” So that’s what you see.

SR: I love it. Now she’s obviously royalty, so would you like to see her move forward becoming the ruler of Wakanda? Or would you rather her go more the superhero route, like Ironheart?

Letitia Wright: Um, I don't know. I think whatever she's meant to do, we don't know what's going to happen in the Marvel Universe. So if she has to, you know, she is royalty. If she has to take that place and help do whatever she has to do, she has to do it. Because in the comic books, she does that. But wherever she goes, she's going to be fine, you know? She's going to be alright.

SR: This movie has tons of strong female characters, which I love, in it. Not only strong but obviously intelligent and the men are very supportive of that. How do you think this movie transcends the superhero genre? Obviously, it’s a great film for the times right now.

Letitia Wright: Yeah, I feel like it does got… just due to how different it is and just bringing the things that are lacking in other movies just to the forefront and it does that perfectly. So we’re all really excited because it’s doing stuff that we’ve not seen a lot of. So now that it’s here we’re like, “We want more of it.” And it really shows you what the audience would like and what we're supporting. So yeah, all together it's just bringing what we need and we're trying to deliver and hopefully we did.

SR: You absolutely did!

Letitia Wright: Bless you, man.

SR: Now where would you personally like to see Shuri go next?

Letitia Wright: Personally? Man, just doing more stuff around the world and using her intelligence. Not just to help Wakanda, but maybe different parts of the world I guess. Maybe helping out Spider-Man or something I don't know. Just visiting the other superheroes in the Marvel Universe and just be like, “Hey Captain America! You know, let's let's go have lunch or something, we can talk about… something.” I don't know.

SR: Well, I think you'd be a good next Iron Man. Just saying.

Letitia Wright: Aww, thank you.

SR: Can you teach me the handshake that you and T’Challa do?

Letitia Wright: Secret stuff, man. All right, so your right hand, my right hand…

SR: Okay.

Letitia Wright: So you… No, so you slowly, slowly. You clap.

SR: Yeah.

Letitia Wright: You slide, click. And then you do that. Yep.

SR: OK, awesome!

Letitia Wright: Shouldn’t have told you.

SR: I know the secrets! Now I know the secrets!

Letitia Wright: My brother’s going to kill me. But that's our handshake.

SR: Well, this film's amazing, you guys have brilliant performances and it's amazing. Thank you so much for you time.

Letitia Wright: Thank you!

SR: Pleasure.

Letitia Wright: Thank you man.

MORE: Daniel Kaluuya & Winston Duke Interview for Black Panther

Key Release Dates
  • Black Panther (2018) release date: Feb 16, 2018
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