Angela Bassett on the ‘ever hopeful’ message of ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’

CNN Newsource Pristine Villarreal

(CNN) — Angela Bassett had to grapple with loss and grief during her reign as Queen Ramonda in Marvel’s “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”

“This movie was about grief and loss, family, a remembrance, a legacy and moving on,” Bassett told Deadline in an interview published this week. “That’s something that’s so very human.”

Her loss was that of the 2018 “Black Panther” film’s star Chadwick Boseman, who played King T’Challa. Boseman died in August 2020 after a battle with colon cancer at age 43.

Yet, the two-time Oscar nominee managed to find light amid the darkness once “Wakanda Forever” came out.

“To actually connect with audience members who have gone through some of this, and it being a source of comfort and conversation for them and their families, that really is quite an honor that you’re not expecting,” Bassett said.

She added that it’s an “honor” when entertainment has a real impact on the lives of viewers.

“Wakanda Forever” honored Boseman’s King T’Challa with a farewell that felt fitting for not just the character, but for the beloved actor, too.

“It’s just ever hopeful,” Bassett said of the film. “I think we definitely tried to impart the feeling of, ‘A good morning comes after a long, dark night.'”

Bassett made history when she was nominated for best supporting actress for her role in “Wakanda Forever,” becoming the first actor to earn an Oscar nod for a Marvel film.

While that historic marker will live on in real life, Bassett’s Queen Ramonda saw her final end in the movie — something the actor admitted that she was “shocked” and “surprised” to learn at first. Bassett said she even pushed back against it to the film’s director Ryan Coogler.

“I love being queen,” Bassett said, adding that she’s “ultimately there to serve the vision of the filmmaker” and that she “got over it” quickly.

It should be noted, though, that in the fantastical Marvel universe a character’s on-screen death doesn’t always mean an absolute end.

Bassett hinted toward that theory applying to Queen Ramonda, saying, “I think anything is possible.”

In addition to Bassett’s historic Oscar nomination, she also made history in January at the Golden Globes, becoming the first performer to win a Globe in an acting category for their role in a Marvel film.

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