As Awards Season Heats Up, Ryan Coogler, Lupita Nyong'o And Michael B. Jordan Speak On The Pressures Of Making 'Black Panther' And Its Impact
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As Awards Season Heats Up, Ryan Coogler, Lupita Nyong'o And Michael B. Jordan Speak On The Pressures Of Making 'Black Panther' And Its Impact

Black Panther director Ryan Coogler and stars Lupita Nyong’o and Michael B. Jordan were recently profiled by Deadline Hollywood for the Oscar Preview issue of their AwardsLine magazine. The three talked about the pressures of making the film and the impact it’s had on Black viewers around the world.

At this point in time, it’s already expected that Disney would want to promote Black Panther for Oscars consideration. Indeed, they are going all out with their Oscars campaign for the film. But Coogler said to the magazine that when he first started conceiving of the project, he felt intensely insecure.

“For all of us, it was: what does it mean to be African? When I was approached, I had never been to the continent. Even though my ancestors are from there, I view myself through the lens of being African from an African-American context and being part of the diaspora,” he said. “I wanted so badly to get that right and questioned if I was the right person for the job. The insecurity I felt all the way through the process stemmed from one or all of those things. Each day, we conquered those things by bringing on people, our key collaborators, department heads, and eventually our cast. We shared the burden of all those things, and through our own individual perspectives, we got through it together.”

Nyong’o talked about her experiences growing up in Africa surrounded by American pop culture. Even though it helped her understand more about the world, she said, it also had its own drawbacks.

“It draws the world closer to you, but what it also does is it estranges you from yourself because you do not have the opportunities to see yourself reflected on screen. It breeds this idea that to be something else is better than to be yourself,” she said. “So you’re striving and aspiring for things that are totally out of your grasp. A film like this was so important and so vital for me to be a part of and to commit to, because it was offering a mirror that I just never had.”

The film has become a juggernaut in pop culture and socio-political debate, inspiring fans to be the change they want to see in the world. Jordan said that now that he’s in the production sphere of Hollywood, he wants to keep inspiring viewers to dream bigger.

“Now that I’m making films, I want to produce and create more projects that are aspirational. A guy like me could be a doctor, an astronaut,” he said. “So when this project came up, everything was magnified. It was an intense feeling…But a feeling that this generation needs to see themselves on the screen because this is what it’s going to do for them.”

You can read the full story online at Issuu.



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