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'Black Panther' star Daniel Kaluuya is on an Oscar high

Sunday - 11/02/2018 12:23
Black audiences will see themselves reflected in a way they haven’t before when the Marvel superhero makes his big-screen solo debut. USA TODAY

 

Daniel Kaluuya is riding into the Oscars on a Black Panther high.

Consider his 2018 so far. Kaluuya, 28, scored his first best actor nomination, thanks to his deft turn in the social thriller Get Out. This weekend, the British actor takes to the screen in Black Panther (in theaters Friday) as W'Kabi, the head of security and right-hand man to T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), the king of Wakanda.

There are no worlds more diametrically opposed than Get Out's Sunken Place (where his character is trapped by a white family) and Black Panther's Wakanda (a technologically advanced society that masquerades as a third-world country).

Review: Rousing, representative 'Black Panther' is one spectacular superhero

More: Jordan Peele says he ugly-cried over Oscar nominations for 'Get Out'

On the set, “Wakanda feels like what Africa feels like,” he says. “It’s heightened but that energy, that vibrance, that unpredictability. So it was amazing to be around it."

Kaluuya has been racking up stellar roles with the industry’s leading black directors, from Ryan Coogler, who burst on the scene with Fruitvale Station, proved his box-office mettle with Creed and has wowed critics with Black Panther, to Steve McQueen, who directs Kaluuya in Widows, the upcoming heist thriller starring Viola Davis and Liam Neeson.

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