In a tell-all interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Chadwick Boseman spilled the beans – from Denzel Washington paying for him to go to Oxford to being the megastar of Black Panther.
The magazine notes Chad had a wide range of real-life influences for the character. The 41-year-old drew influences from Zulu king Shaka and Nelson Mandela’s speeches.
Chadwick read about Masai warriors and also trained in African martial arts and Zulu stick fighting. But what stands out is that the actor made two trips to South Africa for research.
On one trip to Cape Town he was given the Xhosa name Mxolisi (which means “peacemaker”) by a street musician.
“I think it was his way of saying, ‘As an African-American, I know you're disconnected from your ancestors and your culture and your traditions’,” Chadwick says. “‘Here's my way of welcoming you back’.”
The star who has featured in Gods of Egypt, which according to screnrant.com was shunned for whitewashing, made sure he was completely satisfied with the portrayals in Black Panther.
Chad pushed hard for Wakandans to speak English with an isiXhosa accent. “I felt there was no way in the world I could do the movie without an accent. But I had to convince [the studio] it was something we couldn't be afraid of. My argument was that we train the audience's ear in the first five minutes – give them subtitles, give them whatever they need – and I believe they'll follow it the same way they'll follow an Irish accent or a Cockney accent. We watch movies all the time when this happens," he says. “Why all of a sudden is it, 'We can't follow it' when it's African?”
And with the movie becoming box office gold in its first weekend, we definitely owe it to Mxolisi!