Marvel Studios’ latest comic-book adaptation, Black Panther, is a box-office success. According to Huffington Post, it “made an astounding $242 million domestically over the Presidents Day weekend. Not only did this number clobber its estimate of $165 million, but it makes the film the second-highest four-day opening in movie history, just after Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($288 million).”
One of the causes behind that success is breakout star Letitia Wright, who plays T’Challa’s little sister Shuri, a brainy technician who is one of the most likable characters of the movie. Interestingly, Wright almost never got the role, as she left acting completely to purse a relationship with God.
She narrated her journey on a UK talk show and explained why she needed to take a break.
I needed to take a break from acting, because I really idolized it. So I came off from it and I went on a journey to discover my relationship with God, and I became a Christian. It really just gave me so much love and light within myself. I felt secure, like I didn’t need validation from anyone else, or getting a part. My happiness wasn’t dependent on that, it was dependent on my relationship with God.
According to an interview with Vanity Fair, Wright came to this decision through a Bible study in London.
Wright came to Christianity after attending a London actors’ Bible study with fellow Identity graduate Malachi Kirby (Roots, Black Mirror) at the height of her depression. Her immersion in her newfound religion was so strong that Wright walked away from a role in a Nicole Kidman-Elle Fanning film, most likely How to Talk to Girls at Parties, in order to focus on her relationship with God. When it came time to tackle her career with newfound commitment in 2015, she ran to it full tilt—and hasn’t stopped since.
Not only that, but Wright sees her career as a “ministry,” and has said that she is not going to hide her religious beliefs. She prays before every scene and came back to acting because she felt God has given her a new mission in life.
She said in a 2016 interview with Premier Gospel, “Where I go, where he takes me, that’s where I need to spread the love of God … Because people’s souls are dying. My soul was dying, and He saved me. So I can’t keep this to myself … I fell in love with Jesus and I’m still in love. Amen.”
Wright’s character will be seen again in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War movie that will be released in May.
photo: Jamie McCarthy | GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA | AFP