Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman is on the cover of Esquire‘s summer issue. The actor speaks to the magazine on the success of the Marvel movie, how he never wanted to be an actor, creating the Wakanda culture and more.
Read excerpts below:
On never wanting to be an actor: I was more so of the mind of the director and the writer. I didn’t want to be on stage and I didn’t want to be on camera. Not at all. My older brother, he’s a dancer; he was also in plays. I would sit in the audience with my mom watching the director, and I was more interested in what he was doing than the performance onstage; it didn’t register that it was something I wanted to do. I became an actor because I was just trying to learn the whole process.
On Black Panther’s international success: Studios will very often tell you that movies with a black lead are not going to work overseas. That was the thing for me—this means something everywhere in the world. It could actually change how studios respond to [black] movies. You can no longer say definitively, ‘Black movies don’t work’.
On creating Wakanda’s culture: There’s a shorthand on certain cultural moments that you don’t have to talk about [with a black director]. But in this case, we did have to talk about some things culturally because we were literally creating a culture. There were discussions in a way that there wouldn’t have been if this was totally an African-American cast. In a lot of cases, we were finding similarities cross-culturally. It was a sense of each of us still trying to create this culture together. Because we were trying to create Wakanda, it was a unique experience.
For more from Chadwick, visit Esquire.com.