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Man Crush Monday: Chadwick Boseman

Here’s everything you need to know about the newest Marvel hero.

The first black hero from Marvel is here to rule over the fictional West African land of Wakanda. Chadwick Boseman has landed the role of T’Challa, alias Black Panther, for five films in the Marvel Universe. And just last week, the first movie of the much-awaited franchise premiered.

The groundbreaking film will star the 42 year-old (really?), and we can’t wait to watch it for ourselves. But before all that..

Let’s get to know Chadwick Boseman!

Prior to Black Panther, Chadwick starred in the biographical Get on Up as singer James Brown. His turn in the film garnered much attention, with the Hollywood Reporter dubbing his performance as Oscar-worthy.

Photo from Lipstick Alley
“I actually started out wanting to direct, wanting to write”, Boseman said to the New York’s Power 105.1.

Chadwick originally planned to become a writer/director as after graduating the British American Drama Academy in Oxford, he became a drama instructor at the Schomburg Junior Scholars Program in Harlem, New York.

But his interactions with actors ultimately made him venture into acting. He wanted to learn how to communicate with his cast and understand what they were thinking — then he realized that those questions just made him want to become an actor altogether.

Photo from FevaTV

For Black Panther, Chadwick considered using an American accent instead of adopting an African one, because audiences might not understand the accent and wouldn’t want to sit through the film.

But Chadwick stuck to the accent. Aside from wanting to represent African culture in Hollywood, he thought it didn’t make sense for Black Panther’s character to have a Western accent as Wakanda was never conquered or colonized by the United States or Europe.

“The intonations and melodies inside an African accent are just as classical as a British one or a European one.”

This thoughtful representation of African culture seeps into all aspects of Black Panther. Check out the suit: that triangle pattern represents “the sacred geometry of Africa”. It’s an impressive costume: Chadwick’s called it “an amazing piece of art”, but just like other superheroes who have to deal with tight suits, he isn’t a big fan of actually getting into it.

And it’s not wonder that so much thought’s been put into making this movie. Black Panther is the first black superhero film in Hollywood. Directed by Ryan Coogler of Creed fame and featuring other black actors like Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Daniel Kaluuya, Forest Whitaker, and Angela Bassett, the movie also boasts a Kendrick Lamar-produced soundtrack that’s heavy on hip-hop and R&B. The Afrofuturist costumes (created by African-American Ruth Carter) have been praised for the way they blend traditional designs with ultramodern elements. The entire movie is a labor of love by the African-American-dominated cast and crew.

Chadwick knows just how significant this moment is for black people, and sees the film as a way to open doors for other films to be made.

“Other things will undoubtedly happen because of what we’ve done.
This is just another doorway into something else, just as there are so many things that have gotten us to this point.”
-Boseman to The Guardian

We agree, and we’re sure that we’re in store for a lot more representation of different cultures in Hollywood.

For now, though, Chadwick Boseman is all suited up to show us some black excellence in Black Panther.

Have you watched Black Panther?

Give us your thoughts on the film in the comments section below! But please, no spoilers! ❤

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