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The Moment Daniel Kaluuya Knew It Would Be A Phenomenon

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Black Panther star Daniel Kaluuya reveals he knew the epic superhero movie would be a phenomenon, even back when it was still in production. Oscar-nominated actor Daniel Kaluuya has shared his memories of the first time that he realized Black Panther would be a phenomenon. The 31-year old star has had a tremendous career to…

Black Panther star Daniel Kaluuya reveals he knew the epic superhero movie would be a phenomenon, even back when it was still in production.

Oscar-nominated actor Daniel Kaluuya has shared his memories of the first time that he realized Black Panther would be a phenomenon. The 31-year old star has had a tremendous career to date, despite only really having made a name for himself in the last decade. With turns in certified hits like Black Mirror, Kaluuya remains one of the most exciting young actors working today.

While Jordan Peele’s horror masterpiece Get Out is arguably the film that made Kaluuya a standout, he also had a role in Black Panther, playing T’Challa’s friend W’Kabi. He’s one of the movie’s most complicated characters due to his support of Black Panther‘s villain Erik Killmonger. The global success of the film has been an experience that continues to give back in ways no one could have ever imagined it would. The number of people Black Panther touched or inspired is incalculable, and it often seems that many of the stars involved in the Ryan Coogler comic book adaptation had profound experiences before, during, and after its release.

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Related: What Daniel Kaluuya Has Done Since Get Out

Kaluuya recently spoke with fellow Marvel Cinematic Universe star Tom Holland as part of Variety‘s Actors on Actors series. Though he was on hand to promote his latest film, Judas and the Black Messiah, in which he plays murdered civil rights activist Fred Hampton, Kaluuya took some time to discuss Black Panther and the moment when he realized he was part of something big. Imbued with the awareness the film wasn’t “going to be quiet,” Kaluuya explained how privileged everyone was to be involved with a production as special as Black Panther:

I think it’s something that we were aware that was bubbling. There was one day, we did the waterfall scene, and obviously in between takes, everyone just stays on set, and there were hundreds of people on set. And we had actual drummers in between the takes. They would play the beat for Snoop Dogg’s “Drop It Like It’s Hot.”

And then everyone would go, “Snoop!” Like, hundreds of people would literally do that, and when I saw that, I was like — yeah, this isn’t going to be quiet. There was just an energy. Everyone was so privileged to be part of this moment. It felt like a moment. We’re able to show this world in a way that we see us, and it being a Marvel film. You’re bringing something into the world that doesn’t exist, and that’s just really difficult because there’s no blueprint, there’s no template. And there’s some pains in doing that. But when people receive it and people take it as their own, and kids and families are going dressed to the cinemas, it makes everything worth it.

Michael B Jordan as Eric Killmonger and Daniel Kaluuya as W'Kabi in Black Panther

Of course, the success of Black Panther after its release was nothing short of phenomenal – though ultimately bittersweet. The death of the film’s star, Chadwick Boseman, this past summer at the age of 43 was a massive shock to all but Boseman’s closest confidants. The manner in which Boseman lived his life while struggling with cancer added to the emotional impact of Black Panther, underscoring Boseman’s achievements on screen and off, making him a real-life hero alongside his big screen superhero identity.

Although Boseman’s death came some time after the release of Black Panther, the distinct and profound feelings Kaluuya experienced during production are hardly imaginary. Even for fans, there’s something about the film that feels bigger than so many others More than just a superhero movie, Black Panther will be talked about for years to come and Kaluuya is surely not the only cast member who will forever carry special memories with him from its production and release.

Next: Chadwick Boseman: Why The Black Panther Actor Was A Real-Life Hero

Source: Variety

  • Black Widow (2021)Release date: May 07, 2021
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Release date: Jul 09, 2021
  • Eternals (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming 3 (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: Mar 25, 2022
  • Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
  • Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
  • Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022

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About The Author


Mike Jones
(1221 Articles Published)

Mike Jones is an author, screenwriter, world traveller and cinephile. His work has been featured in print and online in a variety of publications, and he’s also a Berlinale Talents alumnus. Cinema has always moved him in a big way and aside from having seen The Talented Mr Ripley more times than any other living person, he maintains a pretty darn healthy physical media collection. His favourite filmmakers include: Jordan Peele, David Lean, Alfred Hitchcock, Mike Leigh, Steven Spielberg, the Dardenne Brothers, Noah Baumbach, Michael Haneke, Barry Jenkins and Andrea Arnold. Often jet-lagged, Mike once turned down a certain A-list celebrity’s offer to join them for a night of partying after a strange encounter in an airport.

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