BLACK PANTHER Interview: Forest Whitaker for his role as the Spiritual Leader “Zuri”

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It was all I could do to change my position in the group photo to sit a little bit closer to “the” FOREST WHITAKER. Although it allowed me a brief moment of rubbing elbows when he got up from the couch I was happy. I have no idea how long I’ve been a huge fan of Forest Whitaker but I absolutely was over the moon, super excited to be in the same room with him and although I might of been a bit star struck when I met him in person for our Interview for his role as “Zuri” in The Black Panther which may have out topped his role in Criminal Minds as an amazing actor that really had me smiling to be in this very moment and have the opportunity to be a part of the Black Panther Event.

I had butterfly’s in my stomach when he walked into the room and you know the hardest part about being a journalist is not running up to people you admire and shaking his hand and telling him how much you admire his work. His role in Black Panther was a warrior and loyal companion to T’Challa and to the former King of Waconda. His role was a spiritual leader and it moved me to tears, not once but twice. When you see how important he is to the King and what he represents in this film I’m sure you will agree he was certainly one powerful person in helping the King of Waconda (That’s putting it mildly because I do not want to add any spoilers).

Academy award winner Forest Whitaker has made a really huge place for himself among the beautiful actor line up in Black Panther. His role is such an important one and I certainly  agree with him that he was cast in the perfect part and leaves the biggest impression.

Marvel Studios' BLACK PANTHER..Zuri (Forest Whitaker) ..Ph: Matt Kennedy..©Marvel Studios 2018

Zuri (Forest Whitaker) Photo credit: Matt Kennedy  ©Marvel Studios 2018

This is Forest Whitaker’s very first Marvel Movie. He shares that it was a very powerful experience and it really made him more complete than a lot of other experiences.


He always tries to do research and study different people for his roles and the different people and the things that they do, he works on different voices. The magic formula for him is that at some point he “surrenders” to his role and dedicates a space to it. Every experience that he does is different. He wants to change or grow from it. If he feels that the part isn’t right for him he examines why. He feels maybe he shouldn’t be doing the part if he feels he can’t grow from it.  Every experience he has is a little different.

Marvel Studios' BLACK PANTHER..Zuri (Forest Whitaker)..Photo: Matt Kennedy..©Marvel Studios 2018

Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER..Zuri (Forest Whitaker)..Photo: Matt Kennedy..©Marvel Studios 2018

It was a real communal experience near the Waconda falls with cast singing and drums continuing to playing during takes.

Forest Whitaker says he imagined this movie having this kinda of magnitude and he thought that something really special was going to happen.

It was really great to reminisce about different roles that he’s played in for different movies. He says he really likes Comedy. He’s had a few comedic scene’s like in “A Rage in Harlem”. He enjoys that.


Forest’s reaction on Black Panther: 

He says he was, “blown away by the film… all the emotions, the humor, all the messages I’ll need to go back and see the film a couple of times.” 

As do I!!

“We are our brothers keepers. That even in our own comfort we have to be able to reach out and help others. “Forest Whitaker


He’s such a really soft spoken man with the most adorable laugh. It was an honor to be seated at the same table and to converse with him. Find Forest Whitaker on Twitter and tell him how much you enjoyed his role in the Black Panther.


Disney/ Marvel Black Panther Opens in Theaters Feb 16th, 2018

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1 Response

  1. Jeanna says:

    I see you have your social media links in order, will have to work on mine. That is pretty exciting, I’ve met a few people who came to town but only interviewed two. The first time I couldn’t shut up and she was very patient with me and the second I was in New York and too hung over to ask a question and when I did it was sooo lame.
    Forest Whitaker is one of those actors that seems to feel so much it’s hard to watch. He can terrify you with a piece of gum or break your heart on his way to jail.

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