“You Look Up And You’re Like, ‘What The?’” Danai Gurira Reveals She Wasn’t That Eager To Shave Her Head For ‘Black Panther’

February 4, 2018  |  

danai gurira was hesistant to shave her head

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Last year when we first saw actress Danai Gurira debut a shaved head for her role in the highly-anticipated Black Panther movie, we were blown away by her beauty and her commitment to bringing her character, Okoye authentically from the comic book to the big screen. As many women know, completely shaving your head can be an intimidating process and Gurira recently revealed during a press conference for the film that as fearless as she may have appeared, she was initially hesitant to adopt the hairstyle.

Hello Giggles reports that Gurira plays the courageous character of “Okoye”, the strongest warrior in Wakanda. Her character leads the Dora Milaje, the all-female Wakandan Special Forces, all of whom sport shaved heads. However, when shaving day came, the actress who also plays a zombie assassin on The Walking Dead reveals she had some concerns:

“It was amazing the idea of the Dora Milaje, the concept of them, and then to see them come to life, and then these outstanding women who I started training with one by one.”

“Like I was the first one to get my head shaved and in theory it sounded amazing. Then the day came and we’re doing it today and I was like, ‘Today?’ Then it happened. Then you go into the restroom to wash your hands, and you look up and you’re like, ‘What the?’ So that took a few days, and then all the girls start coming in. We’d all been bald’ed, one by one. Everybody had their caps on. Then the pride started to grow.”

She went on to explain that she and her co-stars weren’t exactly comfortable and confident with their looks from day one, and that it was understandably a transition. But by the time a scene called for her character to wear a wig as a part of a disguise for fight scene set in South Korea, she admits her feelings had changed and director Ryan Coogler managed to incorporate that feeling of freedom and pride into the movie:

“The beauty of how [director and co-writer Ryan Coogler] wrote that moment, I love that moment where she doesn’t want a wig.”

“She doesn’t want to cover up. This is her joy and her pride, in walking with that bald head, with that tattoo on it. I was like, it’s so subversive, and it’s so subversive in the right way to say that’s not necessarily beauty. You don’t have to have hair to be beautiful.”

You don’t have to shave your head to get into the Black Panther spirit on February 16th, but Gurira and her co-stars sure do know how to make a bald head look bold and beautiful.

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