Black Panther has been a huge starring vehicle for Winston Duke, Letitia Wright, Michael B. Jordan and Danai Gurira. However, This Is Us star Sterling K. Brown also left his mark on the film, if just for a brief moment. In an interview with Variety, the Emmy winner talks about how his role as N'Jobu, the father of Erik Killmonger, came to fruition.
For Brown, the chance to appear in Black Panther materialized out of his working relationship with Joe Robert Cole, one of the writers on The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, who co-wrote Black Panther with Ryan Coogler. In the interview, Brown reveals that he auditioned for M'Baku. That role eventually went to Winston Duke. Brown also revealed that in spite of the N'Jobu's short stint in the film, he felt the character left his mark.
“It was only a couple of scenes, but he has such a strong perspective — and a perspective with which I can relate to in terms of the emancipation of black people across the globe and allowing them to have a position of power globally," Brown told Variety. "And knowing that I, as a prince of this country, have access to materials that could give black people to access to opportunity by any means necessary, it seems like it was a justifiable position. And I loved that it was such a strong perspective just from those two scenes that I was like, ‘Bro, however I can be a part of this, please let me be a part of it.’"
Brown also revealed that the role of N'Jobu was not without its difficulties. The Emmy winner, who was also shooting episodes of This Is Us, revealed he had a tough time nailing his character's accent. "At the time of shooting we were also shooting the ‘Memphis’ episode of This Is Us so I was going back and forth from one heavy thing to another," he said. "No one had necessarily communicated to me that there was a specific accent that we were going for until I showed up on set. I had worked on this whole other thing. … So you go back to the drawing board, you sit in your hotel room and you listen to accent tapes and the dialogue coach’s suggestions and you just do it over and over again until you feel like it’s right."
Black Panther is currently an Oscar favorite and nominations will be announced soon!