‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ Interview: Letitia Wright Talks Shuri’s Arc, Working With Angela Bassett, Tenoch Huerta & More
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has arrived! Leading up to the release, I had the chance to sit down with Princess Shuri herself, Letitia Wright.
Wright’s Shuri is a top scientist, genius, daughter of Queen Ramonda, Princess of Wakanda, and sister of the late King T’Challa. In Wakanda Forever, Shuri tries to soothe her sadness through work, but because of the events that unfold, she is forced to step out of her comfort zone. Wright said seeing Shuri “kind of turned upside down and to be able to go through a new journey with this character of that one that’s required. There’s a stretching, there’s a vulnerability that happens. It’s really fulfilling.”
Wright also shared, “It was a journey that allowed me, as Letitia, to put my heart and my soul into a character that can express love for her brother, T’Challa. But myself as Letitia for my brother, being Chad. You know, it’s like a combination of a parallel path that’s taken and one that I’m really proud of.”
Shuri and Queen Ramonda share some of the most powerful scenes in the film, and Wright told me what it was like sharing more screen time with Bassett. Wright said, “Man, it’s easy to work with Angela. When you have someone that’s a legend in front of you, a living legend literally sitting in front of you. The way she carries herself is with grace and integrity, and she’s so hard working. That relationship was started in Black Panther, and knowing what we know now, what we’re dealing with as a team, as a family, is even more needed for us to be vulnerable with each other. And it was very easy. You see that mother-daughter relationship expand in front of our eyes.”
Of course, I had to ask Wright about reuniting with Ryan Coogler and sharing scenes with a newcomer to the Black Panther franchise, Tenoch Huerta. About working with Coogler again, Wright said, “One of my favorite directors; he was on my list of directors that wanted to work with for a long time before I even booked the role of Shuri. And when you work with a director like that – he’s so intelligent, he knows how to piece the right ensembles together.”
Wright had a glowing review for working with Huerta. Wright said, “Tenoch came in, and he was a beautiful contribution and addition to this beautiful ensemble. So going through the scenes with him, alongside Ryan, it was beautiful man. He respected both of us. He cared about both of our voices, and we were able to intertwine and bring those scenes together. Tenoch is absolutely lovely. Absolutely talented. And I’m so inspired by him.”