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Angela Bassett got ‘no warning’ about Queen Ramonda’s fate in ‘Black Panther 2’

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Angela Bassett got 'no warning' about Queen Ramonda's fate in 'Black Panther 2' thumbnail

Angela Bassett got ‘no warning’ that Queen Ramonda would die in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

The Best Supporting Actress nominee takes The Awardist through her powerful death scene.


By Gerrad Hall February 21, 2023 at 06:23 PM EST

Angela Bassett didn’t initially think it was a good idea for Queen Ramonda to die in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. But it turns out she didn’t even know her character’s fate until she got to that page in the script — akin to her experience for Olympus Has Fallen.

“I didn’t like reading either,” she says, laughing, on the latest episode of EW’s The Awardist podcast, when asked to compare her two big screen deaths. “I’m enjoying the script, I can’t wait to get to work, and then turn the page, and voila… It was an absolute surprise. No heads-up, no warning.”

Bassett — an Oscar nominee for Best Supporting Actress, marking Marvel’s first acting nomination — had the same reaction to Ramonda’s fate as audiences.

“I’m getting CPR, and I don’t make it. Oh, oh, I was distraught,” she says. “Maybe that was the point.”

Angela Bassett and Letitia Wright in ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’

Angela Bassett and Letitia Wright in ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’

| Credit: Marvel Studios

Filming the scene, however, was a different experience. “I think I had maybe made peace with it, you know? It was such a wonderful shoot, and that’s not the first thing you shoot, so you have time to sort of process it and get into it,” Bassett explains. “So it becomes like any other day — you want to do good work that day. And after you finish, it’s not the last day. You still have more to do. So that helps soothe you a little bit.”

Someone who refuses to be soothed in Wakanda Forever is Queen Ramonda’s daughter, Shuri (Letitia Wright). She has already endured the death of her brother, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), from an illness when her mother is killed by Namor (Tenoch Huerta), setting her on a path of revenge. In what can now be seen as a bit of foreshadowing, Queen Ramonda encourages Shuri after T’Challa’s funeral to get in touch with her emotions — “Her spirit and her mind needs some tending to,” Bassett says of Shuri — guiding her to “show people who you are,” which “is not a vengeful, hateful person, she’s a brilliant young woman who has everything ahead of her.”

Elsewhere, Bassett discusses filming T’Challa’s private, intimate funeral and the celebration of his life that followed; delivering Ramonda’s big U.N. speech; and why playing the queen of Wakanda has been “one of the highlights of my career.”

Also on the podcast, EW editor-in-chief Patrick Gomez and senior writer Devan Coggan break down the Best Supporting Actor and Actress categories, Top Gun: Maverick‘s chances of mounting a surprise Best Picture win, and more.

Check out more from EW’s The Awardist, featuring exclusive interviews, analysis, and our podcast diving into all the highlights leading up to all the major award shows.

Related content:

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022 movie)

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