While “The Woman King” had its own lengthy road to getting made, the fight for both on-and-off screen voices was won when filming finally began. Black talent was hired in several critical production roles, which star Lashana Lynch said made the filming process feel so much easier.
“I feel like we can all arrive and feel comfortable and at home and relaxed knowing that we as Black women and Black people are already taken care of and supported and that’s with all departments as well as having a Black head of hair, Black makeup, Black costume designer,” she said. “These are important things.”
As far as on-screen roles go, the vast majority of the cast represented the vastness of the African diaspora, according to John Boyega. He takes on the role of King Ghezo, the real-life ruler of Dahomey in the 19th century. He commented:
“I want people to actually experience the collaboration between Black actors and people, African American and Black British, South Africans, everyone’s coming down to South Africa to make this special. Within our Blackness, we do have cultural differences. This project for me, especially somebody coming in, to see and to train each other, to be there to support each other is something that I feel like we’re going to continue based on just this project alone.”
You can watch the rest of the #TakeUpSpace conversation on Twitter. “The Woman King” will have its world premiere on September 9 before arriving in theaters on September 16.