‘They erase everything’: For this ‘Black Panther 2’ star, representation is resistance
This week, in an odd twist of fate, “Black Panther” actress Lupita Nyong’o has been cast in Netflix’s original movie “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.” But in the coming months, she’ll be a part of the project’s cast as the villainess who attempts to murder the titular character in the film — the first-ever “Black Panther” villain.
“I’m a part of the creative team that helped get it off the ground,” Nyong’o, 27, told Inverse during a recent interview about a major role in the film. “And I just had to jump in and play a character for the very first time.”
“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” is a new film about a wealthy African American man who has to figure out who he wants to be — and who he doesn’t — while in a time when racism persists. It sounds like a fantastic fit for Nyong’o.
“It’s a very challenging character to portray because she’s very different from me: She’s a rich white woman in a time when that’s not the case,” she explained. “She has a lot to say about racism and its effect on a black person in general. There’s been a lot written about racism. But not a ton of it has been specifically directed toward an African American. So it’s a very powerful issue to tackle.”
In addition to being the first “Black Panther” villain, Nyong’o is also the first to be cast in Netflix’s new-concept original animated movie. So what does “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” look like when it’s fully realized?
“It’s gonna look amazing,” Nyong’o said with a laugh. “So I wish I could actually show it.