Wakanda week continued on Jimmy Kimmel Live with one of our favorite actresses, and people, Danai Gurira on Wednesday night.
Danai was brought out after a look at Black Panther where she absolutely steals the scene. Not that we’re surprised. We love her as Michonne on The Walking Dead and we cannot wait to see her bring Okoye to life in Black Panther.
She plays indescribably powerful women on film and television, and that undoubtedly comes from her inner strength and spirit. She illuminates a room, and a stage, with ease. Kimmel first commented on Danai’s stunning shaved head and the design on the side. She replied that it was an ode to Wakanda.
Speaking of her shaved head, the pair talked about the process of learning that she’d be undergoing such a massive change for Black Panther. She said she’s rocked short hair before, but there’s a distinct difference, one she wasn’t totally prepared for. She got a 24-hour notice before she’d lose her hair, and once they started cutting it, she felt a bit shocked. Danai admitted that it took some getting used to at first, but as she saw herself and the powerful women in the film adorned with stunning tattoos on their heads, she felt her confidence rise.
It continued to when the makeup and designs were off too. She says now it’s incredibly easy to wake up and get ready, plus – no bad hair days!
The pair spoke about her upbringing a bit. Born in Iowa and moving to Zimbabwe very early in life, she didn’t remember much about Iowa at all but it’s her hometown, she gave it some credit. Kimmel asked if there was a lot of American influence as she was growing up and she said yes, of course. Everything from food to entertainment. In fact, she used to watch Dallas growing up. In her backyard, you could find her walking around taking on the role of Alexis Colbe. She said her neighbors must have thought she was either crazy or going to be an actress.
We’re glad she felt that passion early on.
Danai laughed about the top secret life in Marvel because, of course, she was well versed as a character in The Walking Dead. You can’t spill anything in the MCU or The Walking Dead Universe so it’s easy for her to say nothing at all, or to totally change the subject.
Speaking of the MCU, she got to bring a lot of her friends to the premiere which was an incredible moment for her. One of those friends is an established lawyer who represents nations. not just clients, nations. However, it wasn’t a moment lost on her. She loved the experience, especially when they got to meet Snoop. Danai said they really enjoyed that moment.
As far as the film itself? Danai loved seeing it for the first time with a huge audience, but she was so excited she kept grabbing Michael B. Jordan’s leg. He sat behind her and totally kept her grounded through the experience.