Actress Danai Gurira is best known for her role as the katana-wielding zombie slayer Michonne on AMC’s hit drama, The Walking Dead. She will also star in the part of Okoye, one of the Dora Milaje in Marvels Black Panther. Comicbook.com interviewed the star about her involvement in the film.
On whether her role in The Walking Dead had influenced her casting in Black Panther:
Gurira: “The filmmaker had never watched it,”I’m not saying that everyone else that was involved hadn’t but [Director] Ryan had never watched The Walking Dead. He’d watched me in something completely different.”
“It’s quite amazing to hear, but these are African women roles,” Gurira said. “He’d watched me in a more independent film called Mother of George. He’s never seen The Walking Dead.”
On how Michonne and Okoye compare to each other:
Gurira: “I’m training right now for Black Panther, and, yes, there’s a lot of ways that they’re extremely different. I’m learning such great, awesome new things. There’s a lot of ways that, yes, one helps another. There are things about using combat that help each other. Absolutely. There’s a lot of new things to learn and I’m really enjoying. There’s so much new. She’s a whole ‘nother thing. Okoye is a whole ‘nother thing”
The Dora Milaje are the personal bodyguards of the Black Panther. They are also potential wives for the king of Wakanda, with each tribe traditionally putting forth a candidate for a place in the elite bodyguard group. T’Challa uses the Dora Milaje in a ceremonial role, rejecting the custom of selecting a wife among them.