Danai Gurira photographed by Alex Martinez for Atlanta Magazine, 2016

I never imagined I would be asked to do [Black Panther]. When I met with [director] Ryan Coogler, whom I deeply respect and admire, I was floored by his vision and by his heart, his energy, his power, his intellect, and [his] ability to tell a story. I was really amazed by the parallels [between the story and] the things that I try to do as a storyteller in theater. And the fact that it’s at the level of Marvel. I grew up watching other types of people be portrayed in this realm, but not very often [have] I watched African people get to be the storyteller, get to be the subjects of the story, and get to have that type of an engine behind them. To be a part of that coming to fruition finally from the African perspective, it’s really thrilling. I’m in an inarticulate place about it because it’s just so astounding to me that I get to be a part of this.