This weekend, Marvel fans lined up to see Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, and Michael B. Jordan star in Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther. However, many viewers left theaters with one character on their minds: Princess Shuri, played by the Guyanese-born British actress, Letitia Wright.
This article contains spoilers for Black Panther.
The 24-year-old actress made her big screen debut in the 2011 movie Victim. Earlier this year, she appeared alongside Liam Neeson in The Commuter. Additionally, Wright has worked on popular TV series such as Black Mirror and Doctor Who. It wasn’t until this past weekend, however, that the mainstream public started to take notice of the up-and-coming actress.
As Shuri, King T’Challa’s younger sister and Wakanda’s chief technology officer, Wright brings a wide range of traits to her Black Panther character. From demonstrating her scientific brilliance in the laboratory to snarking her way through T’Challa’s crowning ceremony, Wright’s Shuri is a Disney princess unlike any other.
In the Marvel Universe, Princess Shuri reigns supreme in regards to intelligence. Smarter than both Tony Stark or Bruce Banner, the comic book princess is head and shoulders above her male competition. Wright plays the role of the Wakanda princess as more than just a bookworm, however. She makes Shuri both brainy and cool.
“It was fun. She tries to not rub it in your face, but then she kind of rubs it in your face,” Wright shared with reporters at the film’s New York premiere. “It was cool to play an African princess who’s the smartest in the whole world. That never happens. So I hope all the young girls can feel smart too.”
Embodying Shuri was more than playing a pretty princess to Wright. “I grew up seeing so many stereotypes on TV and I didn’t want to play that as well,” the actress commented. “This moment right now is years of prayer that’s coming together to play such a character that … hopefully a lot of people can be inspired by. So for me it’s a dream come true really. It’s something positive in the world, and that’s the type of person I am.”
Wright has her own high hopes for the role of Shuri, stating, “It can spark the brain of another kid that loves technology and loves science, and lets them see that that’s really cool and encourage them to create the next gadget that’s going to help cure a disease or something.”
Intelligent, fun, loving, and beautiful, the most inspirational component of Wright’s portrayal of Shuri is her hopefulness. Even when Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger has assumed the throne of Wakanda, Shuri never loses hope and inspires both her mother (played by Angela Bassett) and Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) to keep moving forward. Above all else, it is Shuri’s unbreakable spirit that won the hearts of audiences worldwide.
“For me, it’s about spreading love and light as well,” Wright said. “Shuri brings that to the screen. When people see Shuri on the screen they’re just joyful, they leave the cinema like happy, like, ‘Yo, she made me laugh.’ … I’m proud to be a young black girl doing this, but also as much as this is for young black women to be inspired, [it’s for] all women of all ethnicities, of all races to be inspired. And young boys too, young men too from all walks of life to be inspired by this film.”
Expectations are already high for young Wright and her blossoming career. Next up, she is set to reprise her role as Shuri in this spring’s Avengers: Infinity War; she’ll also show up in Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Ready Player One. If you haven’t yet, head to theaters ASAP to see Black Panther.
More in News
Sophie Turner Quitting Acting
The Game of Thrones actress has been done filming Season 8 since last summer, and apparently she’s been on a hiatus...April 17, 2019
Hoda Kotb Adopts Her Second Child
Following Tuesday morning’s episode of Today, the co-anchor announced via phone that she has adopted a second child, a daughter named...April 16, 2019
Wendy Williams Files for Divorce
Yesterday, it was confirmed that the daytime talk show host has officially filed for divorce from her husband of over two...April 12, 2019
Nipsey Hussle Memorial Service Draws Thousands
The late rapper’s ‘Celebration of Life’ is taking place at the Staples Center today, and TMZ is live streaming what’s expected...April 11, 2019
Charles Van Doren Dead at 93
Charles Van Doren, one of the most infamous TV game show contestants of all time, has passed away. According to...April 10, 2019
Kim Kardashian Taking Bar Exam in 2022
The reality star has plans to follow in her father Robert Kardashian’s footsteps by becoming an attorney, and she’s aiming to...April 10, 2019