The nationwide premiere of Marvel’s Black Panther is literally just around the corner and one of the most widely discussed topics surrounding the film’s casting is its incredible — and deliberate — representation of Black talent.
This, uncharacteristically of the majority of Hollywood’s blockbuster films of the present, leaves the two white characters in the film, Klaw (Andy Serkis) and Everett K. Ross (Martin Freeman), to stand as the minority, with some possibly labeling them the “other.” Both Serkis and Freeman spoke with BET.com, exclusively, about what this meant to them throughout the filming process.
The actors, who have both starred in the Lord of the Rings franchise in the past, spoke on how the realization of being in the minority felt a bit “unusual,” initially. However, they agreed that, with time, the separation became seamless, an outlook Freeman claims should be adopted in life, in general.
“The practicalities of it and the reality of it was that, in my experience, at first you notice it, because it’s unusual,” Freeman said. “I hadn’t been the only white guy in a film before. Until he turned up, we were the only two white people. That’s unusual for me, so you notice it, and then you don’t notice it, which, please God, is [how] it should be.”
Echoing Freeman’s sentiments, Serkis added that he actually began to appreciate what it must feel like for minority actors who live in this — in their cases — disadvantaged state throughout their careers.
“I feel exactly the same,” Serkis added. “I mean, you do, for a moment, think, ‘Gosh, this is an unusual feeling’ for a period of time and then you think, ‘Wow, this is crazy that this is unusual,’ and actually, if this were to continue and was always the case, then I think I would understand that it was a very strange thing. So, for a moment, you kind of begin to appreciate what it must feel like.”
Hear their responses, in full, in the BET video, above.