Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s Angela Bassett Reveals How Grueling It Was To Film Her Big Stunt Sequence

Angela Bassett's Queen Ramonda testifying in Black Panther 2
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Spoilers for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever ahead. 

In Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Angela Bassett’s character Queen Ramonda had one of the saddest scenes in the movie when she sacrificed herself to save the young Riri Williams as Wakanda’s palace went underwater. While the actress has spoken about calling out the film’s director Ryan Coogler for killing off her character, now she’s opening up about how grueling it was to film the big stunt sequence that went along with her character’s tragic death.  

The tragic scene not only involved emotional strength from Bassett but physical strength as well. While speaking with THR, the actress talked about how they made the scene, and went into detail about her stunt work and the “long wet, wet day” of filming. 

Oh my gosh. Well, they’re trying to keep you comfortable by putting you in an undergarment of a scuba suit. A neoprene wet suit. Then you have this beautiful silk organza, whatever, purple dress over it. Ruth has planned that because it is going to look a certain way when you’re underwater. Those other glorious costumes would not look that good underwater. So you have this on top of it. And they are throwing water bombs at you, spraying you, just hour upon hour.

That sounds like a lot to wear at once. Watching the Marvel movies in order, I think it’s safe to say some of the wardrobe from Wakanda is the most ornate and opulent, especially Bassett’s costumes. Her massive gowns are gorgeous, and really highlight how regal the queen of Wakanda is, however, I’d imagine wearing the gown and a wetsuit, and being wet, would be quite difficult. Especially considering how long it took to film.

On top of everything Bassett had to wear, she also talked about how long it took to film the aquatic stunts. While the actress was initially “mortified” by Romanda’s story, and she had a hard time filming the sequence, she did note how good it turned out. She explained: 

You’re doing French hours [with no pause for meals], so you don’t have a break in between. You are just constantly wet for about 12 straight hours. You’re trying to eat your lunch on your lap, you’re trying to take a nap, and yet you have this wet neoprene and this wet dress. The worst part is when you have to go to the little girls’ room and you’re pulling wet neoprene off your body. It was just very interesting — not. But all for the good, all for the glory, all for the beauty. It looks far more beautiful than it felt.

Even though she didn’t love the idea at first, and it was hard to grueling to shoot, Bassett ended up liking how it turned out, and the moment did serve the overall plot of the story beautifully. As one of the writers said this moment is important to Shuri’s backstory, and it helps viewers understand why the young princess is on a quest for vengeance when she’s battling Namor at the end of the film.  So, even though it was tough to film on a lot of levels, it was pivotal to the Black Panther sequel.

To see this beautifully tragic moment, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is currently playing in theaters. You can also watch its predecessor Black Panther with a Disney+ subscription. And be sure to check out all of Marvel’s upcoming movies to see what superhero film you can see next in theaters. 

Riley Utley
Weekend Editor

Riley Utley is the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. She has written for national publications as well as daily and alt-weekly newspapers in Spokane, Washington, Syracuse, New York and Charleston, South Carolina. She graduated with her master’s degree in arts journalism and communications from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Since joining the CB team she has covered numerous TV shows and movies -- including her personal favorite shows Ted Lasso and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. She also has followed and consistently written about everything from Taylor Swift to Fire Country, and she's enjoyed every second of it.