At the Apollo Theater this week, Lupita Nyong’o shared a story from the Black Panther movie set that shows how deep the melanin ran in Wakanda, Vulture reports.
Nyong’o joined co-star Chadwick Boseman and writer Ta-Nehesi Coates, who writes the current Black Panther comic book series, for a panel at the Apollo.
During the nearly two hour talk, Nyong’o praised director Ryan Coogler for curating a positive atmosphere for the cast and crew. She recalled one of the “musical moments,” as Boseman calls them, that popped off while they filmed T’Challa’s first royal challenge battle.
“The drummers started drumming to Snoop Dogg’s ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’ and then the entire crowd joined in on that 'snooooooop snooooop.' That’s the moment that I really felt the pan-Africanism because we were all there,” she told the crowd. “We’re from Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Kenya, Uganda, Germany, the U.K., Zimbabwe, South Africa, Ghana, Senegal — you know, we’re from everywhere. South Carolina, California, Canada, you name it. We were on this crazy cliff and we all knew Snoop Doggy Dogg’s ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot.’”
Boseman said moments like those make him fearful of future productions because of how much Black Panther warmly centered blackness. He recalled an instance where he almost got his hair cut by a non-black hairdresser on the set of a previous film.
“It’s now scary to do another production,” Boseman said. “I literally got up and walked out, called the producers, ‘Hey, you better get somebody here to cut my hair ’cause I ain’t having that.’ You mess it up, I have to wear a wig for the rest of the movie.”
As the crowd laughed at the ancedote, he went on to say that working on Black Panther has changed his standards for other sets.
“I know I’m quiet to a certain degree, but then I get fanatical about things and I’m like, ‘No, this has gotta be right.’ And so I don’t know how I’m gonna be now,” he continued. “I really don’t know how I’m gonna be when I step on another set after doing this because it raises the bar so high.”