Black History Month Profile: Letitia Wright, Actress


Sophia Bienkowski

In the recent American superhero film Black Panther, the cast was one reason the movie was so anticipated. Alongside Oscar-winning actors Daniel Kaluuya and Lupita Nyong’o, it was expected for the spotlight to fall only on them. This being said, Letitia Wright, who played the Black Panther’s Princess sister, Shuri, impressed and surprised watchers and critics alike. Her fun-loving and excitable character quickly became a wonder. But why was her success so surprising?

Born in Guyana, a country on South America’s North Atlantic coast, Wright then moved to London when she was seven. Wright proved societal expectations could be broken, and she was inspired to begin acting when she saw the acclaimed film Akeelah and the Bee, also starring a smart and independent female. Her first big chance was in My Brother the Devil in 2011. She was then recognized as a 2012 Star of Tomorrow. And today, at only 24 years old, it’s still only the beginning for Letitia Wright. She appears in the highly anticipated movie The Commuter, starring Liam Neeson and will continue to be a major role in the Marvel’s Avengers Infinity War, alongside previous castmates, as well as new ones, including Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr., and Benedict Cumberbatch.

Because Marvel is now owned by Disney, Wright’s character, Shuri is classified as a “Disney Princess.” Shuri, however, doesn’t seem to follow previous characteristics and conventions of these Princesses. When watching Black Panther, Shuri is an incredibly strong female hero, but also a tech genius. Vanity Fair called her “Peter Parker, Tony Stark, and Q from Bond all rolled into one.” This isn’t the first time a character has broken the bonds being a Disney Princess however Letitia’s character seemed to take it to the next level.

Today it feels like everyday a new star pops up in the press, a new “breakout” actor or actress for every new movie. The possibility of an up-and-coming beloved celebrity isn’t what’s surprising; rather, it’s that amongst the incredible acting of her costars, Letitia Wright still shined. In Black Panther, her character stole the show. It’s for this reason Letitia Wright is an actress worth paying attention to in the future.