Danai Gurira Gets Candid About Okoye, Wakanda & The Dora Milaje

The countdown to SDCC is on and with that comes more imagery, trailers and promo for the most highly-anticipated comic book films slated to arrive this year and next.

The one that is on the top of my list is Black Panther and I am sure many of you share the same sentiment. The film has everything going for it, including an amazing director in Ryan Coogler and the highest caliber class of actors ever seen in a debut MCU film. And no, I am not bragging – just agreeing with what Marvel Studios Head, Kevin Feige, said earlier this year.

But one of the parts of Black Panther I am most looking forward to is the Dora Milaje. Entertainment Weekly has the pleasure of interviewing one of the film’s stars, Danai Gurira, who plays Okoye.

When asked what viewers need to know about Okoye, Gurira said, “She is an extremely proud Wakandan. She’s very proud of her people, her country, and her heritage. She is a traditionalist. She is rooted in what is, what has been done, how we do things as Wakandans. How we have done things, and how that must be preserved.”

She also revealed that the loss of King T’Chaka in Captain America: Civil War is something that shook Okoye’s soul:

“Being the head of the Dora Milaje and losing a monarch in somewhat of a security breech situation is not something that sits well in her soul. The desire to make sure that never happens again is something very intrinsic to who she is.”

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Okoye, Nakia and Ayo (via Entertainment Weekly)

But despite having suffered a deep loss and being wrapped up in her work, Gurira assured EW that Okoye still has a fun side and connects with people:

“She can be serious, but she also has an unexpected sense of humor. She has a heart for her country and for her people. She’s not a person who doesn’t connect to human beings as a result of what she does, but she is very devoted to what she does.”

Gurira also had plenty to see on the fictional country of Wakanda itself. She told EW, “When you see Wakanda, you see this very unusual world that you have never seen prior. Seeing all those people living and thriving in specific ways as a result of the protection that Wakanda is under is something that fuels her passion to keep her country safe and prosperous.”

From the teaser trailer that earned 89 million views in 24 hours, we can see Okoye working alongside Nakia closely. But what is her relationship with her fellow Wakandan like? After all, Nakia does work outside of their nation which has a penchant for keeping outsiders at bay.  To this Gurira cryptically said, ” [Smiles] We’ll have to see. Maybe I have told you too much already.”

Well, Danai’s comments just made me even more excited to see the film! What do you think – are you beyond ready to see Black Panther? Let us know in the comment section below.

Black Panther claws its way into theaters on Februaty 16, 2018.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

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