So as promised, I am excited to share some of the interviews I got with the stars of the highly anticipated, Black Panther movie. The Disney bloggers and myself actually got a chance to speak to a lot of the cast, so it will be broken up in installment post. This interview will be the collaborative session with Academy Award Winner Lupita Nyong’o and up and coming superstar Danai Gurira. As I stated in my last blog, these are the kick-ass females who will shock you and make you see the true essence of girl power in this amazing action packed movie.

When you see these women in this film, you will see them as strong warriors. Fighting alongside of the men, just as strong and powerful to fight for their country. You will not see females being damsels in distress at all, in fact the women of the film have stunts and skills that even trumps their male counterparts. Also a cool perk, the women in this film are full covered up, no over-sexualization of their character but they are still beautiful and feminine. This is the kind of action in films that need to be the norm with female representation.

Photo credit: Natasha C. Nicholes (HousefulOfNicholes.com)

Danai Gurira as Okoye

Photo credit: Natasha C. Nicholes (HousefulOfNicholes.com)

To actually have something as stunning as Wakanda on the continent and lose it to me it was, it really fueled my connection to the stakes of her and the character. So it was actually — there were so many things that were so — they’re very easy to connect to because she is, you know, I’m an African-ist. – Danai 

Okoye is the head of the Dora Milaje, an all-female special forces group in Wakanda. Okoya is a fiercely loyal protector of Wakanda who isn’t afraid to question her king, but would defend him with her life.

Relating to her character Okoye

Danai: I could really relate to that about her, about the way that she is so dedicated to her nation and so dedicated to her people and really holds, you know, responsibility, you know, the idea like to who much is given much is expected and I feel like she considers Wakanda like this gem that she has been given to perfect and so she, she really takes that on as something that is priceless and that she cannot let slip. And so I think that’s really something that really propelled me, connected me to her

Speaking on shaving her hair bald and the representation of a different kind of beauty in this film.

Danai : What’s so powerful to me about it because I don’t think as I was saying, you know, you often don’t see Africanisms celebrated and so I think that completely connects with the hair. I love what the hair department and the costume department did. They really pulled from real actual cultures and ethnic differentiations and how hair is celebrated across the continent traditionally and currently and, you know, I think there is something really powerful about all the ways that hair was represented there because I think there are so many things that tell us, you know, the thing that tells those of African descent or, you know, people who get categorized as the other that there’s one way that they should actually manifest themselves in society in order to be accepted or acceptable.

I love that there are so many manifestations of that sort of expressions and, you know, with Nakia, Nakia’s got her little knots and then she’s got a fro, you know, what I mean and then and Okoye loves her bald head and she doesn’t like to wear wigs. She said why am I wearing this thing on my head? It makes no sense.

Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia

Photo credit: Natasha C. Nicholes (HousefulOfNicholes.com)

When we’re dealing with African representation in story we feel such a strong sense of responsibility and desire, deep desire to see African women on screen that look and feel like we know them to be. And so with these characters we wanted them to be women that we know and like the women that I know are complex and they’re deep and they’re about something other than just the man in their lives and so I think that was really important to us. – Lupita 

Nakia is A Wakandan spy pulled from her mission abroad by her former flame T’Challa, Nakia consistently gets involved in conflict for the good of others, adamant to use her abilities to help those in need. In the wake of King T’Chaka’s death and the rise of Wakanda’s new enemies, Nakia puts her skills of subterfuge and hand-to-hand combat to use in order to fight alongside Black Panther.

Lupita on relating to her character Nakia

Lupita: I identify with Nakia’s independent spirit and her feeling her loyalty to her country. I understand. She’s a warrior right and she’s the chosen warrior of the River Tribe person for [UNINTELLIGIBLE] Melissa and then she’s also a war dog, an undercover spy but as a warrior, as a leader of her tribe I think it means a lot to her to make her people pride and I understand that. I relate to that and so I think that was my in to figuring out who she was and I love a woman who is on a mission to make a difference which is what she’s on.

On training for her characters and stunts in the movie

The training was a big part of getting into character because understanding how someone fights reveals a lot about, you know, what their values are and who they are and so when we were first talking about Nakia’s fighting style Ryan said to me she’s street and that was really all I needed so by any means necessary she will use any weapon. They don’t use guns but Nakia has no problem using guns, you know. She will use her shoe. She will use whatever. She will grab whatever it takes to get the job done and just and then that again is another way that when we put together we stand in solidarity, you know.

Interview both Lupita and Danai gave me a whole new perspective of #blackgirlmagic. Both Lupita and Danai are of native African decent. Sometimes we think black beauty is African-American beauty, but the inclusion of African beauty needs to be share with Africans as well. I am so happy they got to portray the essence of their African traditional beauty in this film, to show the world there is not one cookie cutter style to beauty. Also, that black women are strong. We are not just strong emotionally, but physically we can be two. So beauty, strength and pride is what both of these women evoked perfectly in the film.

Group Photo with Danai and Lupita

Group photo op with Lupita and Danai after our interview

It was an honor to interview these two strong women who represented well in the film. This film might change the game in how the world see female characters, superheros and figures in movies. Little girls should be able to look up to strong fierce women too in action movies, we aren’t always being saved or in danger. We can be the one stopping the danger and can be the strength in a movie as well. Lupita and Danai played these images well and little and grown women around the world will be proud!


Synopsis Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER follows T’Challa who, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king. But when a powerful old enemy reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king—and Black Panther—is tested when he is drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people and their way of life.

Black Panther opens in theaters on February 16th.


BLACK PANTHER official website: https://marvel.com/movies/movie/224/black_panther
BLACK PANTHER on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BlackPantherMovie
BLACK PANTHER on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theblackpanther
Marvel Studios on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marvelstudios/

Disclaimer: I was invited to attend an all-inclusive press trip, sponsored by Disney. All opinions are my own.

Are you Ready To See Black Panther?

About the Blogger - Kiwi the Beauty

Kiwi is the free spirited blogger and content creator of KiwiTheBeauty.com. As a digital influencer, she produces creative inspiration around beauty, lifestyle, media and travel leisure. Her life mantra is to make manifesting fun! When she’s not blogging, she is eating trendy hipster food, carrying crystals, making it rain at her local farmer's market and binge brunching. Follow her on her blog and social media at kiwithebeauty.com + @kiwithebeauty

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