(Showbiz) Black Panther cast was trained in silat

KUALA LUMPUR: Marvel superhero T’Challa of Wakanda, otherwise known as Black Panther, is still riding high at the box office, and Malaysian fans have a good reason to catch his movie.Main actor Chadwick Boseman who plays the superhero and fellow cast members who included Lupita Nyong’o prepared for their astounding fight scenes by learning silat, among other martial arts.Boseman, in a news report by Singapore’s Straits Times yesterday, revealed that he learnt silat which is native to Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Brunei, as a result of director Ryan Coogler’s research for the fight scenes.He said that the director and his team did extensive research into martial arts from different continents and they included Silat Harimau, a well-known variant of silat which reflected the movement of tigers and involved a lot of leaping and kicking.“Our production team put a lot of effort into the choreography, which incorporated capoeira from Brazil, Dambe boxing (Nigeria), Senegalese wrestling, Zulu stick-fighting and Southeast Asian martial arts muay thai and silat, to create Wakanda’s rich cultural heritage,” he said in the report.

The actor who is set to reprise his role in Avengers: Infinity War in May, uploaded a video clip on his Instagram account in May last year, which showed him practising moves that resembled silat.Kenyan-Mexican actress Nyong’o, who won Oscar’s Best Supporting Actress for 12 Years A Slave in 2013, also adopted a fighting style influenced by silat while training for her character, Wakanda spy Nakia.She revealed in an article on the Marvel website that her training encompassed judo, jiu-jitsu and silat, and credited Coogler’s athletic background for helping perfect the style.“He has the mind of a fighter that I really need. I felt that I didn’t know what a fighter would do but he was of great help,” explained Nyong’o.“I’ve learnt all these cool skills and jumped higher than I thought. I rolled backwards and thought I’d never do this after turning eight. It’s been so much fun.”Black Panther, which opened on Feb 15, has grossed over US$462 million (RM1,811 million) worldwide, and set the record for biggest debut by an African American director.

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