Angela Bassett on Honoring Chadwick Boseman in 'Wakanda Forever'

Fans have plenty to look forward to when Netflix’s Gunpowder Milkshake premieres later this month. Not only does the action flick have a star-studded cast that includes Angela Bassett alongside Michelle Yeoh and Carla Gugino as gun-toting, badass librarian-themed assassins, it’s also jam-packed with action from beginning to end.

ET’s Ash Crossan sat down with Bassett over Zoom to chat about her role in the heavy-hitting action flick, where the actress opened up about her experience working with such a powerful cast and gave us an update on the highly anticipated Black Panther sequel Wakanda Forever.

“I don’t know what it’s going to look like at all,” Bassett shared about her return to Wakanda as Queen Ramonda. “There have been about five incarnations of the script and I hear another one’s coming.” 

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Variety reported that production on Wakanda Forever began on June 29. Fans have been curious about how the film will recalibrate following the death of star Chadwick Boseman in 2020. Marvel Studios previously announced that it would not recast or digitally recreate T’Challa for the film’s sequel and since the mantle of Black Panther can be taken on by whoever is deemed the protector of Wakanda, another character could still end up becoming the Black Panther. While the cast and crew have been mum on specific details, they’ve all agreed that the main goal is to honor Boseman’s memory in the sequel. 

Bassett reiterated that sentiment, adding, “Of course, with our dear king going on to glory, a lot of things had to be shifted and changed, so thankfully, Ryan [Coogler] and Joe Robert Cole, they’re just such masterful storytellers that they’ve found a way into this world and hopefully it will be satisfying, I think, for the fans and it will be honorable of our Chad. We love our king.”

Meanwhile, Bassett shared that her time working on Gunpowder Milkshake was a decidedly different experience if only because of the amount of fighting she got to do for the Netflix film.

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“Well, it’s just fighting so many men, back to back to back to back, in the dark,” she explained. “Of course, you didn’t practice in the dark. You didn’t learn the choreography in the dark, but once we actually got into the room and saw how moody it was and how hot it was, it was — woo, Lord, you were just so glad that it was dark and you couldn’t see!”

The actress joked that she lost “about 10 pounds” that day, just from the amount of sweating she did but said that the result was “impressive,” even to her. “After a while you really think that you have skills!”

https://youtube.com/watch?v=H7ZrjXuNgmA%3Ffeature%3Doembed

Sweating aside, Bassett shared how working with her co-stars left her so inspired that she wanted to pinch herself. 

“[You just] pinch yourself like, ‘How did I wind up here with this amazing group of women?’ So yeah, it was exciting, and once you get past that, then we just had fun with each other,” she said. “Absolutely silly, especially with Lena [Headey] as the ringleader, always trying to make some joke or do some kind of Instagram post where you’re fussing each other out or whatever, but great. We had a marvelous time together, both on and off set.”

Gunpowder Milkshake will be available to stream on Netflix on July 14. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is in theaters on July 8, 2022.

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