Entertainment Weekly has been pushing out some great news for fans of the upcoming Black Panther film and now we are getting a bit more insight into what we can expect from many characters in the film. With the big pre-SDCC 2017 article, we get a lot more insight and exclusives on what we can expect from the film. The first trailer certainly teased a very intriguing battle for the throne with many key characters trying to fight their way to the position that T’Challa holds. After the events that lead to the current Black Panther to take on the throne room, one can expect a large shift at his homeland, Wakanda. EW sat down in an interview with actress Danai Gurira on what we can expect from her performance and the film.

Marvel Studios BLACK PANTHER
Okoye (Danai Gurira)
Credit: Kwaku Alston/©Marvel Studios 2018

The Walking Dead alum will portray Okoye, the head of the king’s very own special forces unit, the female-only Dora Milaje. She is the sworn protector of the man that sits in the throne, but since the unforeseen death of T’Chaka during the events of Captain America: Civil War, she is set to be more cautious around the younger, more stubborn man that would jump into a cat suit to battle bad guys. During a set visit, EW got a chance to see her outside of her homeland interrogating Age of Ultron‘s Ulysses Klaue, played by the always great Andy Serkis, in Korea. This scene was hinted at in the trailer, which also sees Martin Freeman‘s Everett Ross. Talking a bit about her characters transition from the comic book page to the silver screen, she offered a look at what we can expect from the character.

She is an extremely proud Wakandan. She’s very proud of her people, her country, and her heritage. She is a traditionalist. She is rooted in what is, what has been done, how we do things as Wakandans. How we have done things, and how that must be preserved.

Gurira also puts an emphasis on the fact that she is not disheartened by the fact that T’Challa took over as king. While she regrets the passing of the former ruler, she does adore the royal family and seems happy to be able to work together with the heir. However, the fact that she was not able to protect T’Chaka did leave her scarred.

She is a lover and protector of her people and of the throne. To protect the throne, you are protecting the core institution of the nation, which allows it to thrive. She has a deep passion and connection to her country, to her people, and to the very special nature of who and what they are. Preserving that is something that is at the core of who she is.

Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER
L to R: Okoye (Danai Gurira), Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and Ayo (Florence Kasumba)
Credit: Matt Kennedy/©Marvel Studios 2018

Of all the Marvel films, Black Panther, does represent a very unique culture in our world and many pictures show that they will go quite deep into African culture as possible. As such, the interview also questioned the actress on the meaning behind the tattoo markings on her head and the importance it holds for the Dora Milaje.

You can look at it from various ways. The Dora Milaje have been rendered differently through various editions of the comic book. There has been quite an evolution. The evolution into them looking somewhat like what I have going on right now is probably one of the most recent additions you will find. It is very specific to these women, who have dedicated themselves and their lives to the protection, honor, and preservation of this kingdom. That comes with its markings.

She does also highlight how the Milaje work, especially given the unique way Wakanda sticks out among many other countries in the world. It is a country that consists of many different tribes, the Milaje themselves are part of the border tribe, who are trained to stand where they are now. Another aspect that makes Wakanda unique is the way that it is a very futuristic city that still respects the very traditional background of its people’s past.

They are not utopic, but what Wakanda has down well is it has honored people by allowing them to function within their strengths. These women are functioning within their strengths. Their strength is to preserve Wakanda in a Special Forces-type way. It’s more like a Secret Service in a sense that it’s also very much about intel. It’s not just military. She is head of intel. She is a busy woman.

Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER
L to R: Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and Okoye (Danai Gurira)
Credit: Matt Kennedy/©Marvel Studios 2018

It seems that the Milaje will play a large part of the story and will also have a strong influence on the actions of the titular character. Gurira does point out that we can expect some unexpected humor from Okoye and that she is not a cold character. It would not be too surprising to see her scold the would-be king for him going overboard. It is difficult to say what direction the film will take, but it will be interesting to see what role they will play in the film.

What do you think? Are you excited to see the actress play Okoye? What role will she have in the film?

Source: Entertainment Weekly