Shuri Takes On Black Panther's Quest in New Season
Daisy Lightfoot discusses voicing Shuri on 'Marvel's Avengers: Black Panther's Quest' and more!
T'Challa made his royal return to television this past weekend with the premiere of "Marvel's Avengers: Black Panther's Quest" this past weekend on Disney XD. This season, Wakanda faces a new challenge - the mysterious Shadow Council - and the only person who can assist the King is Shuri, T'Challa's younger sister and the princess of Wakanda.
Marvel.com caught up with Daisy Lightfoot, who voices Shuri, to discuss the young princess' brillance, her relationship with James Mathis III, who voices King T'Challa, and more!
Marvel.com: How does it feel to have "Marvel's Avengers: Black Panther’s Quest" launch with already so much love out there for Shuri, T’Challa, and Wakanda?
Daisy Lightfoot: I don’t know how else to put it, but I am so stoked! I’m so pumped. I’m so excited. I literally talk about this every day and I’m still in disbelief, and I’m so thrilled.
Marvel.com: That's amazing! What do you love about Shuri, and what drew you to the project?
Daisy Lightfoot: I like her confidence. I love that she steps into everything, knowing exactly who she is and being everything that she is, and she doesn’t ask permission. She doesn’t need approval from anyone, essentially.
I love that she’s also very caring like in that demeanor where she comes across very sassy and very sarcastic, but she also cares an incredible amount for her people and for her brother. I think that just stepping into her royalty and stepping into everything that she knows herself to be is one of the most beautiful things.
Marvel.com: How did you develop your own take on the Wakandan accent?
Daisy Lightfoot: I was looking at some YouTube videos of some accents from Africa and some Caribbean accents, and it’s kind of a blend of a lot of different things. Then, when we met in the studio for the first recording, James [Mathis III] and I spoke together and we made it consistent. Some pronunciation consistencies. We made sure that it was something that was able to hold throughout the show.
Marvel.com: Speaking of James, what is it like working with him and building upon this relationship that Marvel fans are already familiar with from the comics and from the film?
Daisy Lightfoot: It’s so awesome. I love our sibling banter. I have two older brothers, so I definitely had some practice with banter. It’s definitely such a great time, and James is absolutely incredible at what he does. He’s been voicing Black Panther for a while and he welcomed me, and we really just dove right into this whole support of one another.
It’s such a beautiful thing to get to work with him. And we both get it. We both are very much so in tune with our characters that it kind of starts to show outside of recording, in just how we understand each other and the script, and discussing things like that. It’s been a beautiful relationship of growing in that dynamic of brother and sister.
Marvel.com: The story of "Black Panther’s Quest" isn’t just T’Challa’s story; it’s centers on both T’Challa and Shuri’s story. In fact, T’Challa needs Shuri more than any Avenger. Can you tell us what’s in store for Shuri in this series?
Daisy Lightfoot: She is right in the middle of all of the action. She’s definitely playing such an incredible role as far as not just making sure her brother is straight, but that everyone else, like the Avengers, are kind of in line. She’s that little sister that still kind of keeps everybody in check, making sure that everyone is where they’re supposed to be and doing what they’re supposed to do. She does a great job of making sure that everyone is on point and is able to their job correctly.
Marvel.com: What are Shuri’s thoughts on the Avengers? Does she feel that they’re pulling T'Challa's time and responsibilities away from Wakanda?
Daisy Lightfoot: No, I think that she respects… She knows that her brother makes the best decision and she respects his power, but she also has the ability to say, “Maybe this isn’t a great idea.” I wouldn’t say that she feels like it’s taking away. I would say that she feels like “if you’re going to do something, you’re going to put 100% into it and you’re going to have to put 100% into both. Into the Kingdom and into assisting the Avengers. Because that’s what you signed up for.” She’s not going to allow her brother to cut corners. Not that he would, but she’s just making sure that she’s always keeping him in check for both areas.
Marvel.com: What can you tell us about the Shadow Council, and how much of a threat are they? And is it safe to assume that Killmonger is involved somehow?
Daisy Lightfoot: Yes, Killmonger's definitely involved and the Shadow Council is a big threat, I will say that. I probably can’t say anything else, but they are definitely, definitely a big thorn in our side this season.
Marvel.com: Switching gears, we know that T’Challa isn’t Shuri’s only brother on the series. There’s also Hunter AKA White Wolf. What is Shuri’s relationship with Hunter and how similar or different is it to her relationship with T’Challa?
Daisy Lightfoot: She sticks up for him a lot. She makes sure that where T’Challa might lack any sort of empathy, she makes sure that he kind of sees it from White Wolf’s perspective. Just kind of making sure that everyone is able to express themselves correctly or really get back into that dynamic of her older brothers, and respecting both of their roles in her life.
Marvel.com: That’s awesome. What was it like working with Scott Porter and building on your relationship to his role of White Wolf?
Daisy Lightfoot: It was so awesome. It was so funny because, like I said, I have two older brothers, so having two older brothers on the show was so eerily similar to my childhood. Growing up, making sure that everyone is, you know… “Ok you guys are older, but I’m making sure everybody is being nice to one another and everyone is doing what they’re supposed to be doing.” Working with both Scott and James at the same time was definitely was one of my favorite times. Just every episode that we had together, we got to play a family with all of the quirks and all of the back-and-forth banter between the two of them. It was just really fun.
Marvel.com: Could you share—you don’t have to reveal their characters if it’s a secret—who else did you enjoy collaborating with?
Daisy Lightfoot: I love working with… Oh, nope, actually I can’t… I love working with Trevor Devall, such an incredible, incredible artist all around. I hesitate to just say actor, because he does so much. One of my favorites…. Roger Craig Smith was literally one of my favorite people to work with. Everybody is so incredible in that room. Let me tell you, between takes, we have so much fun. Definitely a big family.
Marvel.com: Aww, that’s so great. How cool is it to work on a series that really highlights the power of women, like the Dora Milaje, Shuri? Just really showing what an awesome society could do.
Daisy Lightfoot: Showing that power in a woman is something that’s so pivotal. We had our representation before as far as princesses goes, of the frills and all of the fun balls, and all of these things. It rarely is shown when a woman is stepping into a place where she is needed and she is powerful, and she’s strong. It’s just a game changer. I think that no one in this show actually requires any knight in shining armor to find out how important they really are and royal they really are. It’s such a different take on what we see, as far as women in power.
Marvel.com: Is there something that you’re excited for fans to learn about Wakanda in this series?
Daisy Lightfoot: I am excited for the fans to know about all of the Wakandan backstory, like our history, our ancestry. We learn a lot more about how T’Challa and Shuri really came into their own, where they come from, and what made them who they are. I’m really excited for that part.
Watch Shuri in a brand-new episode of "Marvel's Avengers: Black Panther's Quest" this Sunday, September 30 at 9:00pm ET/PT on Disney XD!
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