How I Felt Working Alongside Boseman, Lupita In Black Panther – Sope Aluko

Ronke Sanya  
Updated February 10, 2018

Nigerian-born Hollywood actress, Sope Aluko, one of the cast in popular Marvel Movie, Black Panther said it was exciting seeing the script of the movie and she calls co-actor Chadwick Boseman, ‘My brother.’

Directed by Creed’s Ryan Coogler, Black Panther is a movie with historical importance as first Marvel film with cast of all Black Heroes. It feature over 80% Blacks, even as it has set pre-sales records as Marvel’s fastest-selling movie in the first 24 hours.

Aluko, on Saturday, when she appeared as the artiste of the week on Channels Television Programme, Sunrise, said it was really exciting being a part of the movie as it depicts Africa positively as a rich, royal country.

“For so long, I have seen Hollywood depict Africa in a way it shouldn’t be depicted. (But in Black Panther) we are talking about a fictitious country that has mineral resource that is sought after by westerners. A rich country full of Kings and queens, these were all the elements of Africa that we don’t normally have in the narrative out there that we have in the script.

“So, it was not only me but all the cast and crew excited to be part of it. We were like we are getting something and we wanted to make sure we honoured it correctly.

“I call Chadwick Boseman my African brother because everytime he calls me ‘my sister’ and I respond ‘my brother’. I tell him you are so African and I asked him where are you from and he says South Carolina. And we talked about the fact that the slaves ships landed in South Carolina, and so that’s why there is more of that feel that he is from the Western part of Africa. Everybody (the cast) was phenomenal).

American director Ryan Coogler (L) and American actor Chadwick Boseman pose on arrival for the European Premiere of ‘Black Panther’ in central London on February 8, 2018. PHOTO: Tolga AKMEN / AFP

Chadwick Boseman features in the movie as T’Challa, king and protector of the technologically advanced fictional African nation of Wakanda while Aluko features as Shaman, a powerful primal leader who calls upon nature spirits for aid or guidance.

Aluko has a degree in Engineering and Masters’ Degree in Marketing as her parents never wanted her to be an actress. She explained her exploits in the corporate world before transitioning into Hollywood.

“It’s a strange story, my parents never wanted me to be an actress. They didn’t think it will bring in any money. So I did the course, I studied and I worked in corporate America.

“I have always wanted to be an actor but when I went to my parents and told them, this is what I want to do full-time. They said, ‘No, you are not doing that, we paid for you to go to the best schools and have the best education.

“So, I followed the course, I did engineering and then did Masters’ in Marketing and I worked in Corporate America for about 15 years. I decided to transition into acting nine years ago. What really made me happy was not the lot of money which I was (when in the Corporate world) but by following my dream. So I prayed about it and gave it (the money) all up and started from the scratch.”

She has however featured in Hollywood Movies including Pitch Perfect 2, Identity Thief, Army Wives, 96 Minutes, and then Black Panther. She has plans to feature in more and revealed her other movies you should watch out for.

“I’m also in another upcoming Marvel Movie which is coming out very soon. I’m also in another movie with Taraji P. Henson that is coming up this year.”

Kenyan-Mexican actress Lupita Nyong’o poses on arrival for the European Premiere of ‘Black Panther’ in central London on February 8, 2018.
PHOTO: Tolga AKMEN / AFP

To successfully tell depict the African story in Black Panther, Aluko told Channels Television that the Producers and the Production team of the movie made their research and traveled to different countries in Africa. This she said reflected in the costumes and content of the movie.

Sope Aluko on the ‘Purple Carpet’ during Premier of ‘Black Panther’ in London on February 8, 2018.