That, in a nutshell, is what it means for actor Aba Arthur to be a new part of the “Black Panther” universe.
“For me, it starts, of course, with being an African,” Arthur said last Saturday afternoon at a special screening of “Wakanda Forever” held in his honor at Regal UA Denver Pavilions.
“This film will be so important because of its massive and cultural impact – not just in the United States but around the world,” said Arthur, a graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder, who plays a naval engineer in the sequel. from “Black Panther”. In its first 10 days ending Sunday, the Marvel movie has grossed over $546 million at the worldwide box office. The story focuses on the women who fight to protect their homeland as they mourn the death of their king, allowing the film to also honor the legacy of the late actor Chadwick Boseman.
“To be part of this film is a dream. It’s an honor. I feel so, so, so lucky to have been chosen to be part of the cast,” Arthur said. She’s one of 127 actors credited in Ryan Coogler’s blockbuster, but she’s just one of a few dozen who have their own line – and the pavilion crowd erupted in applause when Arthur had his.
Arthur’s name appears in the credits alongside stars like Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett, Martin Freeman, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Lupita Nyong’o – who made a particularly lasting impression on Arthur’s heart.
“Most of the people that were on set were part of the first movie, so I didn’t really know what was going on most of the time,” she laughed. “When it came time to do the real ‘Wakanda Forever’ (salvation), I didn’t know how to do it. But Lupita Nyong’o took me aside and taught me how to do it.
Arthur described her time in Boulder, where she earned degrees in theater and political science and co-created a dance troupe called BAM! (Bust A Move) as “four incredible years. I learned so much. She specifically called out Cecilia J. Pang, who has been an associate professor in CU’s Department of Theater and Dance since 2003.
“Cecilia was the first person who really pushed me out of my comfort zone,” Arthur said. “She helped me discover my talents, and she really stretched me.”
Arthur, who now lives in Atlanta, played Miss Gold in Jennifer Hudson’s 2021 Aretha Franklin biopic “Respect.” Next, she’ll appear as Abena in Oprah Winfrey’s upcoming musical adaptation of “The Color Purple” and Netflix’s upcoming drama “Bad Monkey,” starring Vince Vaughn.
“Oh my God, my life is very exciting,” Arthur said. “Luckily I have a few things booked, so next year will be a busy year.”
John Moore is the Denver Gazette’s senior arts reporter. Email him at email@example.com.