I was in high school or college when Fast Times At Ridgemont High hit theaters. It was the first time I saw Actor Forest Whitaker on film and fell in love with his soft spoken voice. When he walked into the room last week in Los Angeles, everyone cheered for him because clearly everyone knows his work. I told him I loved him in the movie and he said to me, “that was my very first movie” lol. He is now in the upcoming film, Black Panther. He plays a character by the name Zuri, you will love him in this as much as I did. Check out what he had to say inside about being in his first Marvel film, tracing his ancestry back to Africa and his thoughts on seeing the film for the first time, enjoy your Thursday everyone!
What was it like, working on your first Marvel movie?
Forest: It was exciting. Because I remember when we were at the Wakanda Falls, it’s so overwhelming. Because it felt like this hundred-foot waterfall was falling all around us. And this pool of water. And we’re bringing him out, out of this ship, and just, it’s just massive. It’s a very powerful, powerful experience. But when what I did with Chad inside, I really got to the get inside the emotional heart of it, too. So it’s more complete than a lot of other experiences, in some ways, you know.
I know you traced your African ancestry roots to Ghana. Did knowing that influence your portrayal at all?
Forest: I guess it did. Yeah. I didn’t fashion it — although, the Jibara tribe, they’re like, the tribe. But, I did fashion around him those two tribes, I fashioned him around different spiritual leaders, and different ways of trying to get like, get into the moral fiber for the community, because he’s like, the he’s the spiritual leader of Wakanda, you know. And so just trying to understand that from different perspectives, and stuff, yeah.
Your character was a part of the plot twist. Did you know that?
I knew when he ’cause when I read the script, I knew, I mean, when Ryan first gave it to me, they wouldn’t allow me to look at the script. They just would talk about the character and I didn’t really know about the twist then. I didn’t know about what would happen back in the US, and that I would be responsible for those sort of tragic events, you know. But, yeah, afterwards, yeah, I did.
What were your thoughts after watching the film for the first time?
I was blown away by the film. You know. I mean, I guess I didn’t — I don’t know if I expected all of the humor, and all the emotion, and all of the messages. You know. So, I was still trying to process it. I realized that I need to go see the movie a couple of times. Yeah, yeah.
Black Panther everywhere Feb 16, 2018
Images via Disney/Natasha Nicholes