You're listening to Comedy Central. Please welcome Chadwick Boseman. I didn't expect you to do that. Welcome. Welcome. What do you what do you mean you didn't expect to do that? Everywhere you go now for the rest of your life, you will be greeted like this.
You are you are not like Wauconda, my friend. Congratulations.
Well, I've been a fan of yours for such a long time, and I've watched you go from film to film, and you've played some of the most iconic people on screen, but there was something truly different and magical about this character.
Could you feel it when you were making Black Panther?
I think I think the whole cast, we knew how special this project could be. We knew what the comic book was. We knew with the you know, with the whole idea of this technologically advanced nation in Africa that, you know, essentially they're the oldest people on the planet. Right. That that idea that the that it was a revolutionary one, that we knew we could throw a lot of our passion into and we didn't know how people would receive it.
We didn't know, you know, that it would be this sort of impact.
Right. We knew that it would be important to see a black superhero.
We knew that would be interesting. We knew that once people saw what these women were, that that would impact some people.
But you don't know if that's going to be a niche group of people that love it. And you also don't know if it's going to you know, if the studio is going to put everything they can into it.
I have to give Marvel credit and Disney credit for, you know, throwing the book at it essentially is what they did.
And that's really what they did.
I mean, like the marketing worldwide, the way the story was presented, everyone on the cost, because what made the story special was, I don't know if it was just me. It feels like Black Panthers powers come not just from his suit, but from his people, from his tradition, from his tradition, from his tribe, from the from the women around him. It was really special to see a situation where it didn't feel like anyone was a sidekick.
It felt like everyone was part of a team. Was that something that that you were focusing on in the way you treated your stars, Christine?
Absolutely. I felt like in order for him to be a good king, you know, one of the good signs of someone who was wise is that they disseminate responsibility. Right. And so I felt that, you know, his father would have taught him, you know, use everybody skills, don't try to do everything right. You can't you can't be everywhere at one time. So it was important for Dinni to be as strong as she is. It was important for Lupita to be as strong as she is.
And I felt like, you know, what we had as far as you know, there's no real I don't think there's a villain in this movie. I think you have two sides of the same coin, right? The Kill, Kill Mongar story and the child story. You know, we treated it that way.
Michael and I kept ourselves separate and came together at a certain point so that we could create this sort of tension on scene. But in the scenes. But it was it was it was a collaboration, I think, for everybody.
That's that's an interesting idea, that there was no there was no villain. It was two sides of a story.
I mean, more than ever in America right now, people feel like, oh, there's a villain, there's no villain. There's it feels like every story needs to have that. But that's what made Black Panthers so complicated. And I won't give any spoilers away.
But it felt like a story where you truly did not know how you felt. You just had to work on how you felt about what the how the people were trying to do, what they were trying to do.
Well, it doesn't let anybody off the hook. Right. You know what I'm saying? And I think that's that's the key thing, is that I think when you everybody is the hero in their own story, you know, they like you should be the hero in your own story.
You be. You should see yourself conquering, you know, the dramatic action of whatever you're trying to do, so when you get the crisis, you know, you know how to deal with it, you might be able to do that. And there are people that come in and help you with your story. But you have to be the person who who deals with the conflicts that are in place, nobody else. There's no deus ex machina, right?
It's going to come in and save it for you. Even if you pray to God. God expects you to do some things. So I think you have to be that hero.
I know that I felt that and I connected with so many of the characters in different ways, not just because of who they were and what they were doing, but also because of home.
Like, I was really impressed by the fact that everyone in the movie had an African accent. And what was cool was it was African accents from different places, you know, like somebody who had had a Nigerian inspired accent, you know, and and the key I had an accent that had flair, like a bit of a bit of Kenya and there and T'Challa came out and there was a moment in the movie was watching you.
And I was like, why does this sound like a little bit of a young Nelson Mandela? There was like a what was there like a source of inspiration behind the. Absolutely, absolutely.
My my you know, that was that was the the the sound of my my dialect coach. Also, I wanted that sound specifically because I felt like the clicks are an indication that it's believed that the languages that have the clicks among the oldest. Right. So I felt I felt like that was a great sound for this for this particular character.
And, you know, the point that you just brought up about each body, each person having a different sound, we felt like we were taking the continent and sort of closing it in, like compressing it and saying everything that we love about the continent came from here. Right. Right. So you can pull from every place because there's a dispersion from this from Wauconda.
So, yes, you could have a king hit in her accent. It also allows each actor to bring things that are close to them to the story. Right.
So as opposed to like some people might be like, well, you can't just have this generalized Africa where people are are picking from anything they want.
But if but if it becomes from an organic truth and an organic DNA, which is what we did then and everybody's on the same page, then it becomes something that is real.
What was it was a part of you worried, though, that everyone having African accents would be something that, like the studio or even movie goers wouldn't gravitate towards?
I, I wasn't worried. So somebody was worried. Somebody was worried. I was. Yeah.
I was a worry because I had seen you know, I'd seen John Carney doing Shakespeare, you know, saying I'd seen he plays my father in the film.
I had seen, you know, African, Zulu, Macbeth seen before. So I knew I already knew it worked. I had seen it from my college years. Right. That this could work. You know, other people hadn't seen that. So I knew that that an African accent could carry all of that passion in the English language, you know, just as well as a British woman could, if not better.
And so, you know, for me, there was a when I heard things like people can't listen to that, you know, for an entire film, you know, they were just talking about me doing it.
I was like, no, we're going to go to Wauconda one day.
And if in my mind, I was like, if I have a British accent right now, what's what's going to happen? I the rest of the nation is being whatever it is that just picturing that it was I'm just picturing that cut out of the movie right now. It's like Black Panther coming back and everyone's like making you have returnee's like, hello that. Yeah, I know. Good to be back when we were debating it. I had that nightmare.
I had that nightmare. I was like, no, boy.
The movie connected with so many people on so many levels. And one thing I really enjoyed was I got to watch the film in New York City. I got to watch the film with many different people from different walks of life.
I watched how it touched many African-Americans.
What I also loved, though, was how that authenticity translated back to Africa, back to South Africa.
I saw people back home who embraced the movie just as much as people did here, which is not an easy thing to do because Africans get portrayed in a certain way in film. And a lot of the time I want like we watch movies and we like who who who are they trying to imitate right now?
Right. What part of Africa is this? Right. But but people loved it back home.
People loved it in the motherland. Was that something that was important for you, that that touch you eat it.
I can't even put into words what that feels like because because, you know, on both sides, as as an African-American and, you know, seeing people from the continent.
I see I've seen the divide for my entire life. Right. You know, I've, you know, grew up and I remember hearing the term African booty scratches as an insult. I remember.
Right. And then and then I I went to my phase of trying to find Africa, not knowing which place in my y'know, in I've seen Africans who viewed us in a particular way where you're not connected. Right.
You don't know where you're from and at the same time love parts of our culture.
So there's like this weird there's been this weird dynamic, you know, I don't know the oral tradition because I didn't grow up with it, you know, from you know, if I if I knew exactly where I came from growing up, I would have had an oral tradition from that place.
Right. I never had that.
So this movie in a certain way creates a story that we all share. And it's the first time that I feel like that's ever happened. I feel like we're where it's like, OK, that's our story. That's our story, too. I think part of that is because you have these two characters who have this collision and they have to go through each other and find out about each other. So even in fighting, there is a there's a sense of kinship among them.
And I think it's portrayed on screen where people accept it.
It's portrayed, it's welcomed, it's electric, and it's going to make a billion dollars.
Thanks for everything you've done officially. Oh, my God. Black Panther is in theaters now. Chadwick Boseman, everyone. The Daily Show with Criminal Ears Edition, watch The Daily Show weeknights at 11:00, 10:00 Central on Comedy Central and the Comedy Central. Watch full episodes and videos at The Daily Show Dotcom. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and subscribe to The Daily Show on YouTube for exclusive content and more. This has been a Comedy Central podcast.