Black Panther is only a day away from opening and everyone is beyond excited to see this epic film on the big screen! The stars of the highly anticipated film have been chosen to grace the cover of Essence’s March issue for an article titled Watch the Throne.  The cast also spent some time with the magazine to chat about the world of Wakanda.

Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Angela Bassett, Daniel Kaluuya, Forrest Whitaker, Letitia Wright and director Ryan Coogler all sat down with the magazine to discuss why this fictional African nation feels so urgent in today’s society, and why the fantasy feels very real.

Check out a few quotes from the Watch the Throne issue of Essence, and be sure to go see the film on February 15th!

DANAI GURIRA ON WHAT THE ROLE MEANT TO HER: “The idea of creating a scenario where you’re seeing very powerful, empowered Africans is really thrilling to me, something my heart, soul and spirit yearned to see…”

LUPITA NYONG’O ON THE WONDER OF WAKANDA: “For me, as an African in this film, to walk on set and to see these incredible costumes and hairdos, these are the things I grew up seeing, but they’ve just been elevated to a fantastical place. We’re going to experience the richness of the continent, because the continent is what has informed us of what Wakanda could be…”

ANGELA BASSETT ON PLAYING A QUEEN [Excerpt]: “When Angela Bassett received the call from [director] Coogler asking if she would play T’Challa’s stepmother, Queen Ramona, she had never heard of the character. ‘…Just to have an opportunity to portray that image—me, a little Black girl from the Florida projects. Playing a queen was just unattainable, unavailable. Even in a fictitious world, a Black woman cannot be a queen,’ she scoffs. ‘Why can’t I be?…’”

LETITIA WRIGHT ON THE IMPORTANCE OF THE FILM: “We understand the responsibility. That it can shift mind-sets. I can be a Black superhero. I can be a scientist. I’m a queen. I’m a young prince. It’s not about me. It’s bigger than me. It’s bigger than all of us…”

FOREST WHITAKER ON THE GENIUS OF DIRECTOR RYAN COOGLER: “His films always have some message about the depth of humanity, bringing out the voices of people of color while finding the universal connection that brings us together as one…”

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