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As many people discovered this past weekend, there's a lot in Ryan Coogler's Black Panther to marvel at. The world-building is stupendous, the production design is gorgeous, and the themes of the film are wonderful, deep, and ridiculously relevant. There are many things about the blockbuster that are just jaw-dropping, but for star Daniel Kaluuya the whole thing really hit him when he stepped into T'Challa's throne room for the first time. He recently told me,
I think it was the first day on set, and I just saw the room - T'Challa's throne room. I was like, 'Woooooooooow.' I just went, 'Wow!' Because a lot of it was green screen, but a lot of it wasn't, and it was just like, 'This is epic. I've never seen this.' And I just stood there for a while, and Nate Moore came up to me and went, 'It's cool, right?' [Laughs] I think a lot of people did that.
Late last month I had the immense pleasure of sitting down with Daniel Kaluuya and Winston Duke during Black Panther's domestic press junket in Los Angeles, and it was at the end of the interview that I learned about the moment it all fell into place for Kaluuya. Noting that it was his first time being a part of such a big production, I asked if there was a specific moment where he realized the epic-ness of the project, and the Academy Award-nominated actor fired back with an excellent story about his first day making the movie.
In Black Panther, Daniel Kaluuya plays W'Kabi, a member of the Border Tribe and a close personal confidant of King T'Challa -- having known him since he was a child. Because of this bond, T'Challa keeps W'Kabi right by his side when he becomes the king of Wakanda, giving him a seat right next to him in his throne room. As you can see in the still above, production designer Hannah Beachler did a tremendous job creating the look of this brilliant, regal set, so it's not really too surprising that Kaluuya was taken aback seeing it for the first time in real life.
You can watch Daniel Kaluuya discuss his memorable moment on the Black Panther set -- and his hilarious recreation of his interaction with producer Nate Moore -- by clicking play on the video below!
Now that Black Panther is in theaters around the world, audiences are having their own special moments recognizing the epicness of Wakanda. If you haven't already, do yourself a favor and seek it out at your local theater -- and be sure to come back to find a whole lot more of our coverage here on CinemaBlend!