How Black Panther Gave Letitia Wright the Chance To Become One Of The Silent Twins

“The way we approached this movie, this story, and the characters with love, the more Marjorie was able to communicate in her own way to June that their story was in safe hands,” she reveals. “Eventually, we got the thumbs-up that that all was well, and there was a blessing for us to move forward with the movie, because they’re represented in a way that wasn’t done before.”

Wright has never personally spoken with June Gibbons herself, but continues, “I can confidently tell you that all is well, [the movie has] been approved. She’s very aware that this film has been made, and it’s all positivity all around. I’m honored that the feedback has been so well received.”

Wright says that the story of the Gibbons sisters’ lives and experiences—harassed for the color of their skin, misunderstood for their creativity and worldview, and ultimately institutionalized in an egregious manner that was both excessive and, in the long term, damaging to the two women—is a cautionary tale about the way society, even today, can punish people for being “outsiders.”

“We as a society, unfortunately, have ways in which we can box people in,” Wright says. “I feel like this film challenges that. It challenges how when you look at someone, you see a story there, and you might think, ‘Oh, I’ve made my mind up about what this is,’ until you dig deeper, and you find out that this person is creative or loves art, or they’re a doctor, you know. It‘s just breaking the lie of false perception and false narratives, and digging deeper to find out the truth behind who people really are.”

Wright, who is of Guyanese descent herself, began her career in 2011, attaining worldwide recognition in 2018 as Shuri, the sister of King T’Challa and tech mastermind of Wakanda in Marvel’s Black Panther. Wright also acknowledges that the unprecedented success of the film, which earned $1.3 billion worldwide and blew away preconceived notions about Black-led superhero movies, has helped her gain the leverage to make a project like The Silent Twins.

“Of course, I’d like to think so,” she says. “Black Panther was a great blessing to my life. I approached it the same way I approached my first role on TV, on Holby City, just with truth and respect. Thankfully, it gave me the trajectory that I have today that I can go off and do beautiful films such as Silent Twins. So I’m really proud to have that trajectory, and the opportunities that it has presented for me.”

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