If you were ever under the impression that faith doesn’t play a major part in seeing your dreams through, Black Panther actress Letitia Wright is here to confirm that it does. Opening up to the ESSENCE Festival 2017 press room on Sunday afternoon, the young and vibrant actress had no issues letting everyone know about the faith walk she took to receive the part of Shuri in the upcoming film.
“When this film came about, it was just on my IMDB watch list. I just wanted to support it,” she began. “Then I heard that they were auditioning. I was like God this is huge; they’re not even gonna look at me.” Though her initial doubt could have kept her from auditioning, Wright — who sites the positive role models in 2006’s Akeelah and the Bee as the reasons for her wanting to act — went through with doing so.
“I sent one tape, and then I sent another and then some dope stuff happened in prayer. God revealed to me that He trusted me with the part before anybody told me and it was a huge spiritual experience. He gave me signs about where I was going and those signs came true,” she confessed.
While the role of Shuri may be the first one that Wright is playing in an American film, it’s definitely not the first one she’s had her eye on. According to the British actress, she wanted to play the role of Storm in X-Men. “I remember my agent was like ‘X-Men, yeah!’ and he had me like really? Then I remember John Irving came and he was in my church telling me, ‘You know, X-Men, they’re looking at you, right?’ But I didn’t get it. So, I would say Storm, but I’m happy with Shuri. Shuri goes on to do big things! I’m content, Lord.”
When asked what she hoped to accomplish by taking on her first big acting role in the United States, she surprised the crowd when she responded that she’s only hoping to provide positivity. “This is the first film that will be a great platform, but hopefully it’s a positive platform,” she stated. “I’m not trying to be famous, I’m not trying to be the next whatever. I’m just trying to be someone that contributes positivity with my talent.”
Black Panther hits theaters on February 16, 2018