Sterling K. Brown Talks Black Panther
Sterling K. Brown Talks Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’
Posted by Wilson Morales
January 10, 2017
In the midst of winning accolades for his stunning performance as Christopher Darden in FX’s American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson while still playing Randall in NBC’s newest and hit series, This Is Us, actor Sterling K. Brown signed on to join the all-star cast of Marvel’s Black Panther.
With Ryan Coogler directing the film from a script he’s writing with Joe Robert Cole, Brown joins a cast that includes Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan, Danai Gurira, Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Winston Duke, Daniel Kaluuya, Florence Kasumba, and Letitia Wright.
Brown will play the role of N’Jobu, a figure from T’Challa’s past. According to most of the comic sites, this is a new character that doesn’t come from any source material.
Very recently, Brown spoke with Kelley L. Carter from TheUndefeated about his getting this amazing opportunity to be in a Marvel film. Here are a few statements he gave to the site.
You’ve been at this for 15 years, and now a big payoff is happening. What that’s been like for you emotionally?
Sterling K. Brown: Kind of amazing. Success for me is being able to pay the bills, being able to provide for my family, being able to have a comfortable life, and I’ve been able to do that. It’s been more than enough. So 2016 happens, and all of a sudden, the game done changed! In a big way. From The People V. O.J. — which was a phenomenal experience — and now to be a part of This Is Us, which is proving to be equally phenomenal. And then, [last week] to join the Marvel family is truly great. Like crazy.
It’s a dream, right?
I was reading Reginald Hudlin’s series of the Black Panther 10 or 12 years ago and I remember loving it. A friend of mine was like, ‘Dude, you should buy the rights.’ I was like, ‘C’mon, man. Ain’t nobody going to do no black superhero movie!’ And here we are, 12 years later. It did my heart good to see Chad [Boseman] in Civil War. And after having read the script — which I can’t say anything about or I’m going to have to cut off my pinkie toe — I’m excited for fans to see what Nate Moore and Ryan Coogler has in store for them. It’s something special.
What does it mean to be a part of a cast of the most anticipated film of 2018? You all are aware of what this film could mean for black creatives everywhere …
I just worked with Chad on a film called Marshall, about Thurgood Marshall. He’s such a talented human being and a deep soul. He’s the perfect personality to fully inhabit T’Challa. So, to rejoin him, and to work with Academy Award winners … to be with Michael B. Jordan after the incredible work he’s done in Creed. Danai Gurira … Forest Whitaker — like, it’s embarrassing. I’m good at what I do — I don’t try to do any sort of false modesty — but, ‘Wow! I get to be with all of you people!?!’ I think Ryan Coogler is one of the great storytellers that we have working today. The meeting I had with Nate Moore before I even got to chance to audition for Panther, and to see the level of knowledge, and just passion that he has for the whole universe, and for this project in particular … it’s in such good hands. I worked with Joe Robert Cole — he was one of our writers on The People vs. O.J. who co-writes with Ryan Coogler [on Panther]. Like, everyone is so good at what they do.
It all sounds amazing.
I was having this conversation with Nate and he’s saying that Ryan was asking him, ‘So how many white people are going to be in this thing?’ And Nate was like, ‘Well, it’s going to take place in Wakanda, so probably it will be majority African.’ He’s like, ‘Can we do that? Can we do that?” And he’s like, ‘Well, that’s the world, and that’s what we’re gonna do.’
You can’t say anything about the film, I know. But what can you tell us about your character? Anything?
I don’t want to get kneecapped … so I’m just going to keep it at this level: He is somebody from T’Challa’s past.
Chadwick Boseman will star as the title hero in Black Panther and he’s joined by Michael B. Jordan, who will play Erik Killmonger, Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia (a former member of Wakanda’s Dora Milaje, now an agent of Killmonger), and Danai Gurira as Okoye (a member of the Dora Milaje, the all-female security for the King of Wakanda). Winston Duke was recently cast in the role of the villain M’Baku, aka Man-Ape.
Whitaker will play the role of Zuri, an elder stateman in Wakanda. Kasumba will reprise her “Captain America: Civil War” role as Ayo, a member of the Dora Milaje. Kaluuya will play T’Challa confidant W’Kabi.
Wright will play the mystery role of Serita, who’s part of the Wakanda community. According to Comicbookmovie.com, “It’s certainly possible, and it’s worth noting that Wright bears quite a resemblance to the younger sister of T’Challa, Shuri. As you’ll likely already know, she ineherited the Black Panther mantle for a time.”
More on Brown’s interview with The Undefeated can be found here.
Shooting on Black Panther begins in January in Atlanta, Georgia. Black Panther hits theaters on February 16, 2018 release.