‘Black Panther’ star Chadwick Boseman on being called the n-word and driving by KKK rallies while filming
Black Panther encounters bad guys on and off set
UPDATE: Chadwick Boseman has now come forward to say the reporter was mistaken and that her drove by the KKK rallies during the filming of Captain America not Black Panther. Please see his statement below.
Driving home from the set of the Blackest film ever created (that’s Black Panther), Chadwick Boseman says he passed by Ku Klux Klan rallies.
When the actor, who is cast as the titular character in the movie, had off-days from shooting Black Panther in Atlanta, Boseman would drive the two hours to see his family in Anderson, SC. The actor told Mr.Porter.com about the surreal experience of going from an afro-futuristic world to a current reality of throwback racism.
“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,” said Boseman.
The South Carolina native is not surprised by overt displays 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. We even had trucks try to run us off the road,” the 41-year-old recalled.
Those childhood memories of the n-word and contemporary close encounters with the Klan no doubt helped fuel Boseman’s performance in what has become one of the most anticipated movies of the year.
Black Panther smashed Marvel’s previous pre-sale ticket numbers and early reviews have been stellar. At the recent world premiere in Los Angeles, Boseman and his co-stars Lupita Nyong’o, Angela Bassett, Michael K. Jordan and others, wowed fans on the regal purple carpet. They were joined by celebrity fans and actors who portray other characters in the Marvel Universe.
Black Panther hits theaters nation-wide on February 16.