Amandla Stenberg dropped out of the casting process for Black Panther because she’s biracial.
The Hunger Games actress revealed during an interview with CBC Arts that she was close to getting a part in the latest Marvel superhero movie, which stars a predominately black cast, but she walked away because she felt the role should go to an actress with darker skin.
“One of the most challenging things for me to do was to walk away from Black Panther. I got really, really close and they were like, ‘do you want to continue fighting for this?’ And I was like, this isn’t right,” she recalled. “These are all dark skin actors playing Africans and I feel like it would have just been off to see me as a biracial American with a Nigerian accent just pretending that I’m the same color as everyone else in the movie.”
The 19-year-old, who has an African-American mother and Danish father, said it was a difficult decision to make but she ultimately has no regrets because it felt like the right thing to do.
“I recognize 100 percent that there are spaces that I should not take up and when I do take up a space it’s because I’ve thought really, really critically about it and I’ve consulted people I really trust and it feels right,” she said.
Black Panther, which was directed by Ryan Coogler, stars Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan and Danai Gurira. It was released in February (18) and has gone on to achieve critical and commercial success. It is currently the third highest-grossing film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) in the U.S. and the highest-grossing superhero origin film in the U.S.