Black Panther Film Set Was Like A Church – Sope Aluko
Nigerian actress who stars in the new blockbuster Marvel hit ‘Black Panther’ said the set of the movie had an atmosphere that felt ‘almost like a church’.
Sope Aluko, a Nigerian-born Christian who holds both U.S. and British citizenship, told online publication Okay Africa on Friday said many members of the cast and crew ‘testified’ to feeling the presence of providence while shooting the film.
‘During breaks we shared our testimony of how we got to where [we] did and most of the people were testifying to God’s miracles, it was almost like church,’ Aluko said.
Asked how it felt to work with some of Hollywood’s biggest names like Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan, and Forest Whitaker, Aluko said it was like being at ‘home.’
‘We had early call times but I didn’t even feel the long set hours because it was such a good time. I didn’t feel like I was amongst stars, everyone was so down to earth and normal,’ she explained.
Yvonne Orji (pictured) speaks onstage during BET Presents 19th Annual Super Bowl Gospel Celebration at Bethel University on February 1, 2018
An estimated 40 per cent of the Nigerian population considers themselves Christians out of a population of almost 186 million, according to The World Bank Organization.
An actress talking about faith is a bit of a departure from the secular ethos of Hollywood and the film industry, which some observers have applauded as a refreshing step in a more open direction, observed Tyler O’Neil of PJ Media.
Aluko was also glad to report that ‘things have shifted for the better’ for Nigerian actresses in Hollywood over the past several years as the industry explores more diversified terrains to tell stories.
‘For quite some time, for an African actor, it was difficult,’ Aluko said. ‘It seems as though the stories were not being told in a way that it should be. Hollywood had the version of Africa they wanted to present and package to the world and it looks like they’ve since changed then.’
She added: ‘Directors are now more open to casting real Africans with real accents from different parts of the continent, so that’s very reassuring. Notable names like Yvonne Orji, Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyewole have made it easier for those coming behind to break in.
‘It’s cool to be Nigerian these days so it’s a great time for actors in Hollywood because it feels like it’s all finally happening.’
Black Panther hit theaters late Thursday night and has been applauded for its diverse cast that shows representation of the African diaspora and what a Black superhero could do.
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