Once you’ve seen “Black Panther,” there’s no doubt that you’re going to crave more time with the film’s extraordinary cast, which includes Oscar winners, Emmy winners, international stars, and goddesses (AKA Angela Bassett) on so many levels.
So here are some of their most interesting prior roles on television, available for your streaming convenience — stretching back over years in some cases, and revealing some fascinating career trajectories. As just one example, one of Lupita Nyong’o’s very first roles was starring in a drama focused on safe sex practices, filmed in Kenya and produced for a HIV prevention initiative commissioned by MTV for African nations. Not only is it available on YouTube today, it’s pretty good!
It’s also fascinating to see how much of the “Black Panther” cast, of course predominantly led by black actors, prior to this moment were making a living as working actors on television — sometimes as series regulars (but rarely if ever the star), sometimes piecing together guest appearances across a multitude of shows. Taken on balance, it’s a sobering reminder of how few great parts for black actors have been available for so long — but also a sign that real change might be on the horizon.
Check out these great performances, from a diverse array of sources, and also don’t forget to take a look at IndieWire’s ongoing “Black Panther” coverage below:
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