I think about the Black Panther press tour a lot. Mostly, I think about how much I miss it and how much joy it brought into my life. Well, awards season is coming, and the Black Panther press tour is getting a second leg. Angela Bassett, Danai Gurira, and Lupita Nyong’o are honoured in ELLE’s Women in Hollywood issue, reminding everyone that it’s not just Michael Bae Jordan and Chadwick Boseman who should be in consideration for awards.
The women of Wakanda deserve every accolade the men do. That’s why Black Panther is such a strong movie. The supporting roles were actually fully realized characters. Angela Bassett put it like this:
“The women were integral to the storytelling and the wisdom that the main character possessed.”
“Integral.” That word is key. So often, women are disposable props who could be lifted out of a movie without real consequence to the plot or story. In Black Panther, they were integral. Clover Hope (who has been killing the profile game this year) points out that in Wakanda, the women are depicted in a way we had never seen in a movie of this calibre.
T’Challa seeks the women’s help and counsel, and they have answers—and sometimes they save the day.
I’ve been yelling at you about the strength of the women in this film since it came out in February. In case you forgot, here they are. The chances that any of these three actresses (or Letitia Wright as Shuri) will get nominated for their roles in Black Panther is slim but these are the kinds of roles I hope the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories are full of moving forward – not just wives but warriors.
The pictures in ELLE are something else. Angela Bassett is an alien who is making aging aspirational and Danai and Lupita are angels sent from Beyoncé. When I’m not thinking about the Black Panther press tour, I’m thinking about being a teenager again. When photo spreads like this come out, I wish I still had a locker so I could plaster it with the beauty of the Women of Wakanda. If I had these faces staring back at me every day in high school, I think I would’ve been OK.
You can read more of Danai, Lupita and Angela in ELLE here.