Chadwick Boseman passed away on Friday, at the age of 43 after battling colon cancer for four years. The late actor was popularly known for playing T’Challa / Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). He received immense appreciation for his performance in the superhero movie. But did you know that he had to argue with the makers to let his character have an African accent?
Marvel Studios was not entirely convinced for T’Challa having an African accent, but Chadwick Boseman argued with the makers to do so. In a 2018 interview with Hollywood Reporter, the late actor said that the studios felt like it was maybe too much for an audience to take. He mentioned that they felt, ‘Would people be able to understand it through a whole movie?’ and if they do it now then they are stuck with it in future projects. Boseman stated that he felt the “exact opposite”, if he speaks with a British accent, what will happen when he goes home, hinting at what he would tell his close ones about his character’s representation.
There were two options that Chadwick Boseman had at that time. Taking on a British accent or keeping his American accent and explaining that the character had studied in a foreign country. But the late actor did not give up on his belief. He said that it felt like a “deal-breaker” to him. Boseman mentioned that he was like, ‘No, this is such an important factor that if we lose this right now, what else are we gonna throw away for the sake of making people feel comfortable?’ He noted that then they finally decide to go for the African accent. He gave his “most respect” to Marvel for listening to him
Chadwick Boseman talked on the matter in a news conference after the premiere of Black Panther. He said that there was a time period where people would ask him questions about whether or not an “audience could sit through a movie with a lead character” that spoke with an African accent. The Marshall star mentioned that he became “adamant about the fact” that it was not true. Boseman stated that the “intonations and melodies” inside an African accent are “just as classical" as a European or a British one. Chadwick Boseman also told Los Angeles Times that for T’Challa to have any other accent would not be fine, because if they did that, it would be saying that Wakandans have been colonized.
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