Amandla Stenberg, best known for roles in “The Hunger Games” and “Everything, Everything,” revealed in a recent interview with CBC Arts (via Vulture) that she removed herself from the “Black Panther” casting process after she realized the film was better suited for darker-skinned actors of color. The 19-year-old actress got incredibly close to landing a part in the Marvel tentpole, but she ultimately decided her involvement with the film wouldn’t be right given its African setting.
“One of the most challenging things for me to do was to walk away from ‘Black Panther,'” Stenberg said. “I got really, really close and they were like, ‘Do you want to continue fighting for this?’ And I was like, this isn’t right.”
“These are all dark-skin actors playing Africans and I feel like it would have just been off to see me as a biracial American with a Nigerian accent just pretending that I’m the same colour as everyone else in the movie,” she added.
Stenberg said the decision was “really challenging” but ultimately the right call. Marvel and director Ryan Coogler cast female actors such as Lupita Nyong’o, Latitia Wright, and Danai Gurira opposite Chadwick Boseman.
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“That was really challenging, to make that decision, but I have no regrets,” Stenberg said. “I recognize 100 percent that there are spaces that I should not take up and when I do take up a space it’s because I’ve thought really, really critically about it and I’ve consulted people I really trust and it feels right.”
“Black Panther” has been a box office behemoth since its release February 14. The movie has already earned well over $400 million in the U.S. and is on its way to becoming one of the biggest comic book releases in film history.