Chadwick Boseman has noticed a change in Hollywood since the release of Black Panther, but admits things are “still in the balance”.
The 41-year-old actor starred in the title role in the Marvel superhero movie – an instant classic that broke box office records as well as breaking ground culturally thanks to its diverse cast and storyline.
As for the lasting effect of the film on the movie industry, Chadwick told Britain’s Esquire magazine that he has seen a shift in the business.
“I’ve noticed change. I’ve seen a willingness of production companies and studios to castings in a way that they wouldn’t normally do,” he said. “You can’t make certain statements about a black lead, or a black cast, or having a certain number of people of color – it’s not just black actors – anymore. In fact, it’s been proven that audiences want to see difference. They want to see variety and a world that reflects them whether it be race, gender, or sexuality. They want to see those things, so I think people are looking for opportunities in storytelling now.”
While the release of Black Panther has also positively affected the “business of distribution”, Chadwick noted that there’s still a long way to go.
“At the same time, I can’t say that everything has changed,” he continued. “The business is finding itself, and finding its value, so it’s still in the balance. I’ll also say that I’m in a unique position where I get to see the front and back of those things. There are a lot of people that haven’t broken through yet, and who are still trying to find their way and trying to get through certain prejudices. I have to acknowledge that, but they have more opportunities to do it.”
Now film bosses are busy working on a sequel to the film, but there’s little Chadwick can reveal about the hotly-anticipated Black Panther 2.
“The only thing I can say is that, for people who are hungry, the food is being prepared. I’m sorry I can’t say more!” he grinned.