Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman was candid in a recent sit-down with Mr.Porter.com, where he shared his journey from growing up in the American South to starring in one of the biggest superhero movies of all time.
Boseman recalled that while driving from the Black Panther set in Atlanta to his hometown of Anderson, S.C., he would sometimes drive by groups of KKK members. He also talked about the importance of the film and how it exists to disprove misconceptions about the African diaspora.
“I would see the Klan holding rallies in a Walmart car park. So it’s like we’re going forwards and backwards at the same time. People don’t want to experience change, they just want to wake up and it’s different. But this — shooting ‘Black Panther’ and then driving past the Klan—that’s what change feels like,” he said.
The actor was also open about a thread that is shared by all who walk the world as Black–recounting his experience of being called the n-word and confronting the harsh realities of racism.
“It’s not hard to find in South Carolina. Going to high school, I’d see Confederate flags on trucks. I know what it’s like to be a kid at an ice-cream shop when some little white kid calls you ‘nigger’, but your parents tell you to calm down because they know it could blow up,” said Boseman. “We even had trucks try to run us off the road.”
With only t-minus 14 days until the movie’s opening, Black Panther has already shattered numerous records and is on track to be one of, if not, the largest superhero movie of all time.