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Chadwick Boseman on "Black Panther" character: "You have to make this type of role your life"

Marvel Studios
Marvel Studios

(NEW YORK) — Chadwick Boseman may not be the real ruler of the fictional African country of Wakanda, but the actor sure got pretty close to becoming King T’Challa when he prepared for the coveted role of Black Panther in the Marvel film of same name.

“I think you have to make this type of role your life, for a period of time,” Boseman tells ABC Radio. “It took some time to develop the accent. And you have to speak with the accent on a day-to-day basis.”

Boseman isn’t joking. The actor admits he went to some pretty amazing lengths to embody his character.

“You have to talk to your mom, your dad, your friends, your team, with that accent,” he says. “You have to study as much as you can African culture.”

In fact, Boseman says it was almost a mandate for the cast and crew to be as authentic as possible in Black Panther, which looks closely at African culture.

“It’s important to get as close as you can to your own connection to that, because we didn’t want to do a generalized version of Africa. We actually had to create a culture,” Boseman explains. “So I think myself and my other classmates were diligent about finding very specific things that we could connect to and bring to the table for this project.”

Of course, in addition to sounding like King T’Challa, Boseman had to make sure he looked like him as well.  “[Y]ou also have to work out a lot,” he quips. 

Black Panther, directed by Ryan Coogler and starring BosemanMichael B. Jordan, and Lupita Nyong’o, opens nationwide February 16 from Marvel Studios and Disney, parent company of ABC News.

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