Who Is Letitia Wright?
Letitia Wright (born October 31, 1993) was one of the stars of the hugely successful Black Panther, in which she portrayed Shuri, a brilliant Wakandan princess. Wright has also had a busy career in British television, appearing on shows such as Doctor Who, Black Mirror and Humans. Among the films she's been in are Avengers: Infinity War, Urban Hymn, and Ready Player One. She's open about her Christian faith, and has shared that this faith helped her when she was suffering from depression. Wright was born in Guyana and grew up in London.
2018's Black Panther co-starred Wright as Shuri, a tech genius and princess of the fictional African nation of Wakanda; she reprised the role in Avengers: Infinity War (2018). Before Black Panther, Wright had a lead role in Urban Hymn (2015), a drama about a girl whose musical ability could provide a pathway out of a difficult life, set during the 2011 riots in England.
Wright has also appeared in the Liam Neeson-starring film The Commuter (2018) and Ready Player One (2018). Her Ready Player One part was a small one; Wright admitted in a 2018 interview, "You might not even see my face but I've got a credit! And [film director] Steven Spielberg; I saw him, I met him, I shook his hand so I'm taking it!"
Making Black Panther was a pleasure for Wright. She had an instant sisterly rapport with star Chadwick Boseman (who played her brother T'Challa, the new leader of Wakanda and the titular Black Panther); she also enjoyed besting her co-stars in rap battles held between takes. In addition, Wright appreciated the film's departure from stereotypical characters, and hopes Shuri will inspire young viewers to learn more about science and technology.
Wright was a standout guest star in the season four finale of the anthology series Black Mirror in 2017. She's also been seen on the popular series Doctor Who, and the shows Cucumber, Banana, Holby City and Top Boy. On Humans, which takes place in a world filled with lifelike androids, she played a human who pretends to be a robot.
Wright's Black Mirror episode was titled "Black Museum." It featured Wright's mentally off-balance character seeking revenge for a family member's suffering.
In 2015 Wright was seen on London's West End in Eclipsed. She portrayed a young woman living on a compound as one of a warlord's "wives" during the Liberian Civil War. The play was written by her Black Panther co-star Danai Gurira.
Early Acting Career
Wright started taking acting classes at the age of 12. Among her first roles was playing Rosa Parks — and doing a convincing American accent — in a play for Black History Month. Seeing the film Akeelah and the Bee (2006), which starred Keke Palmer, made a teenaged Wright want to pursue an acting career; she told the Guardian in 2015, "It’s not a famous film, but it just shifted something for me — someone that looks like me, doing something positive."
Wright's mother, a teacher, was more concerned with education and unsure about her daughter's career choice. However, after Wright demonstrated success was possible when she got a role on the TV series Holby City in 2011, her mother came around.
Wright started emailing agents when she was 16, listing her school performances. But it was London's Identity School of Acting — which has trained performers from diverse backgrounds — that brought her career to the next level. In addition to taking classes at the school, she signed with its affiliated agency.
When Was Letitia Wright Born?
Letitia Wright was born on October 31, 1993, in Georgetown, Guyana.
By the time she was 20, Wright was struggling with depression. Actor Malachi Kirby, who'd attended her drama school, invited her to a Bible study; this led to Wright forging a deep relationship with God. She subsequently took a break from acting — leaving a film with Nicole Kidman and Elle Fanning — but her faith later spurred Wright to embrace the profession once more. She noted in a 2017 interview, "I just heard this voice like, 'This is the talent I have given to you, don't waste it.'" In the same interview, Wright explained her approach to her career had changed, as she was no longer "worshipping acting."
When she attended the Met Gala in 2018 — along with friend, fellow drama school alum and Star Wars star John Boyega — Wright sported a dress inspired by the garments worn by Ethiopian pastors.
Wright has been open about her mental health struggles in the hopes of helping others. For her, faith has been the key to recovery; talking to The Sydney Morning Herald, she said, "I don't feel those depressive feelings any more. I just feel so free and happy. So yeah, I won't hide my faith, because it's helped me so much. God has been my way out."
Wright spent her first years in the tiny South American nation of Guyana, living in a small community where she was surrounded by family. When she was eight, she moved to London with her mother.
To fit in with her new peers, Wright wanted to adopt a London accent. She credits the time she spent studying speech patterns with sparking an interest in acting.
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