I may be biased, but it doesn’t make it any less true, NerdHQ panels are high quality. The questions are 95% more thoughtful which bring out the best of the panelists. The intimacy of the panels helps panelists feel more at ease to share their stories and thoughts openly. I’ve witnessed this for years, and one of the most thoughtful panels this year was Chadwick Boseman.
Chadwick has always had this peaceful and collected air about him. He always takes a slight pause before responding and speaks with purpose and eloquence. Needless to say, it was a fantastic panel experience. Below are a few stand out moments.
“Was there ever a role you didn’t take because it went against your beliefs?”
Chadwick let out a sincere guttural laugh to suggest this happened more times than he liked to verbally acknowledge. He went on to describe a particular role he was offered that included particular character tropes that he could not stomach. When he described this character who was a criminal that could not read, drive, or swim, it’s was plainly obvious that these characteristics were completely unnecessary.
“Who inspired you to do what you do?”
It’s always great to hear what or who inspires people you find inspiring. Chadwick mentioned that his brother being a professional dancer and actor was his introduction to the arts. He credited a particular teacher for him acting because he initially planned to be a writer/director. He has such respect for the craft and the way he explains his thoughts on acting would make him a great teacher.
“Is there a special role you would direct yourself in?”
Chadwick continues to describe his mindset on the craft. At present, he sees himself as an actor-writer. He enjoys losing himself in a role and would rather focus and not have to worry about what others are doing.
As a Writer/Actor were you involved in the Black Panther development?
Transitioning from the Russos to Ryan Coogler, he felt a responsibility of carrying a consistency from one project to another. He was conscious of keeping T’Challa’s tone consistent and not having him fall into Tony Stark’s “starkiness”. Perfect word, by the way. He wanted to keep a darker, more grounded tone. He has a very collaborative relationship with Ryan Coogler, the director.
Chadwick breaking down bio-pics was one of my favorite portions of the panel. I’m telling you, he should be a teacher! He made one of the most beautiful analogies, comparing biopics to a drawing or painting. “I’m not going to draw everything when I paint a picture. It’s about perspective. It’s about the things that I feel are important, the colors that I feel are important, the shades that I feel are important.” These were the differences in imitation versus capturing the essence of someone.
Black Panther’s Accent
This was my favorite portion of the panel. Chadwick gives an impassioned description of building the case for the Wakandan accent. He has a beautiful understanding of Wakanda, I cannot imagine anyone else doing T’Challa justice. He found a dialect coach from the continent and is working with two people of direct African lineage for the movie bringing that influence. The purity and truth he wanted to maintain, considering the shortcuts that could’ve been taken, is beautiful. He described the moment between T’Challa and T’Chaka in Civil War where they speak in an African dialect to each other as a decision both actors made. They wanted their characters to share something that no one else could understand. This exchange helped establish their closeness and made the loss more heartbreaking.
Watch the full panel below.
Props to the young lady who asked a deliciously sneaky question! I tip my hat to you, fair lady! On another note, Chadwick, please come back to NerdHQ! Enjoy this insightful panel, nerds!