Letitia Wright: Your Guide To The Marvel Star

Actor Letitia Wright has made a name for herself in Hollywood thanks to her brilliant work. After landing several smaller television roles on shows like "Chasing Shadows," Humans," "Doctor Who," and "Black Mirror," she snagged a career-changing part in Marvel's "Black Panther" starring as King T'Challa's sister, Shuri. Now she is back with the franchise lighting up the screen in "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever." At just under 30 years old, Wright is really only getting started, and while she might not know what lies ahead of her Marvel movie career, those who have been around the entertainment business block a time or two know that Wright is something extraordinary. Michael Caton-Jones, the director who discovered 16-year-old Leonardo DiCaprio, knew Wright was destined for greatness immediately. "I've not felt like this about someone since Leonardo. I've had plenty of really good actors, but I just go on my instinct. My instinct is she can be as big as she wants. Letitia is just gobsmackingly brilliant. The camera loves her. She has an emotional honesty," he explained to The Guardian.

"Gobsmacking brilliant," self-assured and grounded, and supremely stunning are all qualities the Guyanese-born actor possesses. The world is her oyster for sure, and whatever she decides to do next, we are definitely here for it, but in the meantime, we will binge on all things "Black Panther" and learn everything there is to know about this captivating young lady.

Letitia Wright is proud of her religion and her heritage

Being a part of a major movie franchise is definitely something Letitia Wright can be proud of, but her work in "Black Panther" and "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" aren't the only things that this talented actor takes pride in. She is deeply proud of who she is, where she comes from, and what she believes. Wright grew up in London with her mother but was born in Guyana. Being a Guyanese actor on the big screen is something she doesn't take lightly, telling Ebony, "It is kind of overwhelming because you don't want everybody to put so much pressure on you. I just want to still be able to be a human being and grow, but as a whole being from my country and representing them and making them proud is cool."

She is sure to credit her faith for her success as well. The rising star explained to The Independent that her religion has been her rock and her stabilizing force, especially in trying times. She went on to say that while many want her to pipe down with her religious beliefs, she simply can't. "I'm sharing my truth because I probably wouldn't be alive right now if it wasn't for Jesus, I probably wouldn't have been able to cope," she professed.

 Wright is grounded in her sense of self, and it shows in everything she chooses to do. 

Keke Palmer is her hero

So many of Tinseltown's young actors have seasoned vets they look up to for motivation and inspiration. Actor Letitia Wright will forever recall seeing a young Keke Palmer perform in "Akeelah and the Bee." From then on, she knew she was destined to be a part of the acting realm. Wright told The Hollywood Reporter that Palmer's character in "Akeelah and the Bee" was around the same age as Wright when she first saw the film. The character's quest for knowledge and vast curiosity were traits Wright immediately connected with, and Wright couldn't help but be inspired.

Wright wasn't only drawn to the parallels between herself and Palmer's character. She also knew she wanted to bring something different to the big screen and showcase an underrepresented part of the acting population. While she had decided to set forth and become a powerhouse actor, she still had to sell her education-driven parents on the master plan. Wright told Vanity Fair, "In my country where I was born, Guyana, we push more for education. ... It's more being a lawyer, doctor, teacher, or scientist. So it was something I had to just really prove — not only to myself, but to my parents, that I could do it, and I can make a living from it, and that I was kind of good at it."

It's fair to say she has made a believer out of her parents and the rest of the world. 

She's an award-winning actor

Letitia Wright is a force in front of the cameras, and the world has been taking notice. Her acting abilities have scored the young talent some serious accolades. The "Black Panther" actor was named the EE Rising Star at the 2019 BAFTA Awards. She accepted the coveted award with grace and humility, giving thanks to God and referring to herself as a work in progress. Her BAFTA Award could not have come at a better time for Wright, as she revealed that for years she had been sinking into a depression and even considered giving up acting for good. "The only thing that pulled me out of that was God, my belief, my family, and an email from BAFTA telling me they wanted me to be a part of BAFTA Breakthrough Brits, and it inspired me to keep going," she bravely explained in her award acceptance speech.

Wright also earned herself an Emmy nomination for Supporting Actress in a Limited Series. The high honor was given for Wright's astounding work in the Netflix show "Black Mirror." She rounded out a monster year with a SAG award alongside her beloved "Black Panther" cast for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. The win made history, as it was the first superhero movie to score Best Ensemble. (It went on to be the first superhero motion picture to earn an Oscar nod for Best Picture, too).

It seems everything has been coming up "Wright!"

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

Leticia Wright throws her entire self into her work

Some actors can't help but throw everything they have into a role. Sometimes the massive efforts result in a performance of a lifetime, but other times they result in injury. Every now and again, an actor's on-set moves produce a killer performance and an injury. Letitia Wright knows this all too well. When working on "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," Wright suffered a concussion and a fractured shoulder from an incident with a stunt rig. "Letitia Wright sustained minor injuries today while filming a stunt for 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.' She is currently receiving care in a local hospital and is expected to be released soon," a spokesperson for Marvel said (via Deadline). 

The injury was initially not expected to halt film production, and Wright recuperated in London while filming continued across the pond in Boston. After two months of Wright being absent from the movie project, however, production did end up pressing pause in November 2021 and staying shut down until 2022, so Wright could continue gathering the strength needed to reprise her role. After five long months, she suited up as Shuri again and finished the film. 

Her body found its way back to fighting shape, but healing her mind proved to be a different story. Per Variety, Wright continued to process her accident even after the bumps and bruises were long gone, saying she worked through the incident via therapy. 

She has struggled with her mental health

Depression was once a taboo topic to open up about, but gone are the days of feeling ashamed about one's struggles with mental health. Celebrities like Adele, Miley Cyrus, Lili Reinhart, and Letitia Wright have all worked to break the stigma surrounding depression by discussing their own experiences with it. During the "Black Panther" press tour, Wright shed light on how depression in the Black community is often not spoken about. She pressed the need to discuss mental health, bringing it out of the dark and shedding light on the subject. Per Teen Vogue, Wright spoke even more candidly on depression. "I speak boldly about [depression] because I struggled with it and I tried to find different ways [to heal], and it just didn't work. I had to look deeper to find what could hold me, and I found that what held me together was my relationship with Jesus and my relationship with God."

Wright uses her platform to discuss mental health. When accepting her 2019 BAFTA Award, she made sure to openly and candidly share how close she was to giving up on her acting dreams and letting depression take her down. Her strength and perseverance can hopefully help others affected by mental health struggles overcome their hardships. By all accounts, Wright is a success story, and hers is a tale worth sharing time and time again.

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

The actor is open to love

Letitia Wright is quite a catch. She is young, stunning, and talented, and frankly, any human being would be lucky to have her as a romantic partner. While she hasn't settled down with anyone, she has indicated she is wide open when it comes to love. In speaking to The Independent, Wright said, "I think it's a pure and beautiful thing to be like, 'I'm gonna wait for love. I'm gonna wait and save myself for the right person.'" Wright has a bit of an old-fashioned take on finding her forever person, especially compared to others her age who rely on digital dating experiences. Per Dazed, Wright explained, "I just need to meet the one person that's for me, and that's it. Done. I don't need to do all that website stuff."

Though dating apps are not her thing, she told The Independent more power to those who use them to help find connections. Until she settles down with the person who completes her, she is content in the friendships of her co-stars that function more like family. "I see Danny (Daniel) Kaluuya as an older brother and Malachi Kirby. I see Naomie Harris as an older sister. Danai Gurira, I see as an amazing older sister. Definitely, Chadwick represented being my brother," she revealed to Dazed.

Leticia Wright is all about self-care

Letitia Wright is creeping up on 30 years old, and as she collects more years under her belt, she grows wiser when it comes to taking care of herself. True, she is still considered young by most, yet life has aged her and has given her enough bumps in the road to help teach her that self-care is of the utmost importance. After battling depression, losing actor and beloved friend Chadwick Boseman to colon cancer, and getting in a terrifying on-set accident, the Guyanese-born actor knows that she can go full speed ahead with her career, but she also needs to take the time to slow down and engage in activities that better center her and bring her calmness and peace. 

Per Vogue, the "Black Panther" star uses her free time to hang out and eat with friends, take in as many movies as she can, check out new tunes, and visit art galleries and museums. She is also a fan of the occasional massage (who isn't?) and finds that family and friends truly are the best remedy for even the most challenging day. Whether it is laughing or crying with loved ones, the result of the reset seems to be the same to the actor. 

She feels the loss of Chadwick Boseman to her core

Losing someone you love changes you forever. People learn to carry on, but the void left by the passing of a special person never heals completely. Letitia Wright knows this, as does the rest of her "Black Panther" family. She, the late Chadwick Boseman, and others grew extremely close when filming their first movie together. Wright has even referred to Boseman as her older brother and a lifelong (platonic) love, not simply as a friend and co-star. She told Cassius Life, "I was very, very confident that he would be my big brother from the moment I met him. Sipping on his smoothie, looking at me up and down, sizing me up, I was like, 'you finna be my big brother.'" 

As close as they were, Wright didn't know everything about her friend. For example, she didn't know how he had been battling a severe illness. "I didn't put the dots together," Wright told Variety in reference to Boseman's colon cancer battle. "Bro was very private. He wanted to always protect us." 

In fact, Wright explained to Variety that when condolences regarding Boseman's death started rolling in, she thought it was a warped joke. It sent Wright into "a downward spiral," and, while she couldn't bring her friend back, she has found ways to honor him. This includes her work in "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" and walking the purple carpet in an outfit that resembled one Boseman himself wore to the Oscars.

The actor is a big fan of movies and television

Marvel fans all over the world know that actor Letitia Wright is nothing short of perfection when she is in front of cameras. She has breathed life into the character Shuri in both "Black Panther and "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" and proved that her future lies in acting. 

However, many fans of the Marvel star don't know that she not only loves being in movies, she also loves watching them. Per Vogue, she uses her favorite flicks to help her unwind and decompress, watching as many as she can. From her girlhood years, Wright has found herself molded, guided, and inspired by film. She revealed to A. Frame the five movies she feels have shaped her budding acting career: "The Lovely Bones," "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," "Akeelah and the Bee," "Requiem for a Dream," and "Moonlight." Wright said these flicks are responsible for helping her develop into the stunning artist we get to witness in film today.

Movies are a huge part of the star, but she also loves television, especially throwback shows. She told W Magazine that "Full House" and "Family Matters" are a few of her small screen faves. She also shared she has a soft spot for the "Family Matters" character Steve Urkel. Wright particularly loved his uniqueness, perseverance when it came to love, and the times when he transformed from suspenders-clad dork to sexy, suave Stefan.

Her rap game is on point

Letitia Wright can act up a storm, that is for certain. Transforming into various characters for the cameras isn't this talented lady's only ace in the hole, however. It seems Wright has some mad rap skills on top of her obvious acting skills. On more than one occasion, Wright has showcased her lyric-spitting skills for the world, wowing crowds with her quick and intelligent lines. Actor and pal Lupita Nyong'o shouted Wright out on Twitter, praising her rap game and calling her out by her alter ego, Baby MC Underbite. Wright also showed Jimmy Fallon, host of "The Tonight Show," that she can pretty much string any random words (in her case "disco," "Red Lobster," and "vibranium") together to create a freestyle rap. 

She also shared her secret talent with the world when she appeared on "Live With Kelly and Ryan." Host Kelly Ripa told Wright she had heard that Wright was a serious rapper. Wright claimed there was no way she was legit, but what started out as messing around with friends and co-stars on set — spitting freestyle lines out between takes — has turned into something bigger than it was ever intended to be. Wright said she even gets big-time rap artists critiquing her rapping. 

At the end of the day, the actor is adamant her rapping is no new spinoff career, just good-natured fun with a hidden talent.

She's no stranger to controversy

Letitia Wright is no wallflower, and she speaks her mind when she feels it necessary. On occasion, her thoughts and words have landed her in hot water. She once took to Twitter (via The Wrap) to share an anti-vaxxer video. She then went on to share her thoughts on the matter, which proved quite unpopular among the masses. Some were so distraught by the actor's personal views that they called for "Black Panther" and Wright to be canceled immediately.

Per Newsweek, several writers pointed out apparent hypocrisy regarding Wright's stance. Columnist Wajahat Ali responded to Wright's views on Twitter: "Shut it down and re-cast it. Enough of this nonsense. Also, Shuri is a BRILLIANT SCIENTIST being played by an unrepentant anti-vaxxer who believes in nutty conspiracies. Ridiculous." Author and activist Darlene McDonald tweeted: "If Chadwick Boseman, a cancer patient and immunocompromised, was still with us, her selfish views would have endangered his life? To vaccinate is to protect yourself and to protect those around you, known and unknown."

In a now-deleted tweet (per Entertainment Weekly), Wright responded to her original video share and thoughts, saying, "My intention was not to hurt anyone; my ONLY intention of posting the video was it raised my concerns with what the vaccine contains and what we are putting in our bodies. Nothing else."