Amandla Stenberg walked away from a role in Black Panther because she didn’t want to take the part away from a darker-skinned actor
The Hunger Games alum, 19, told CBC Arts that she has “no regrets” about her decision to pass on one of the year’s biggest films.
“One of the most challenging things for me to do was to walk away from Black Panther,” Stenberg said. “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 explained, “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.”
While she said giving up on the role “was really challenging,” she also recognizes “100 percent that there are spaces that I should not take up.”
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Stenberg added that when she does take a role, it’s “because I’ve thought really, really critically about it and I’ve consulted people I really trust and it feels right.”
While she did not reveal which part she auditioned for, it was most likely the role of T’Challa’s tech-wiz little sister Shuri, which ultimately went to 24-year-old Guyanese-British actress Letitia Wright.
Stenberg recently starred in the romantic drama Everything, Everything, and can next be seen in the film adaptation of Angie Thomas’ best-selling novel The Hate U Give.