Ryan Coogler Says He & His Wife Moved To Tears By Our Support Of Black Panther

February 21, 2018  |  


I know we don’t know these Hollywood types but director Ryan Coogler strikes me as the antithesis to all of that. From the interviews I’ve seen with him, and there have been a lot, he seems incredibly humble, introspective and in this industry for all of the right reasons…for the art.

This past weekend, it would have been hard for Coogler to avoid the hoopla and fanfare associated with his historic and record-breaking film. He saw it and he sent a note, via the Black Panther Twitter page, thanking the community for coming out.


It’s a bit hard to read, so I’ll retype it out below:

“I am struggling to find the words to express my gratitude at this moment, but I will try.

Filmmaking is a team sport. And our team was made up [of] amazing people from all over the world who believed in this story. Deep down we all hoped that people would come to see a film about a fictional country on the continent of Africa, made up of a cast of people of African descent.

Never in a million years did we imagine that you all would come out this strong. It still humbles me to think that people care enough to spend their money and time watching our film. But to see people of all backgrounds wearing clothing that celebrates their heritage, taking pictures next to our posters with their friends and family, and sometimes dancing in the lobbies of theaters-often moved me and my wife to tears.

For the people who bought out theaters, who posted on social about how lit the film would be, bragged about our awesome cast, picked out outfits to wear, and who stood in line in theaters all over the world-all before even seeing the film…

To the press who wrote about the film for folks who hadn’t yet seen it, and encouraged audiences to come out…

And to the young ones, who came out with their parents, with their mentors, and with their friends…

Thank you for giving our team of filmmakers the greatest gift. The opportunity to share this film, that we poured our hearts and souls into, with you.


Ryan Coogler

P.S. Wakanda Forever

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

Like I mentioned, I’ve watched several Coogler interviews. And in many of them, he mentions the impact his wife has had on his career. When Ebro and the rest of the morning crew from Hot 97 asked Coogler who was the one person who gave him his big break in the industry, he said that he couldn’t pinpoint one person. He referenced a teacher who suggested that he start writing movies. Then he named his wife, Zinzi Evans.

I had a teacher when I was in undergrad. I was in undergrad, playing football, I was trying to go to the league and I was taking school serious because I figured if I didn’t go to the league because I was short, not as fast as I wish I was, I wanted to fall back and have a decent job. I was good in math and science so I was trying to be a chemistry major, so if that fell off I could go to med school or something. Then I had a teacher read something I wrote in creative writing class. And she was like, ‘You should write movies.’ And I was like, ‘I don’t know.’ She was like, ‘No, I really think you should get into it.’ She is kind of who put me…

But then my wife, she was my girl at the time, they had a software where you could write screenplays. I was trying to write in Microsoft Word. It’s impossible because your format gotta be right. I was broke, playing football on the little scholarship money. And my wife scrapped together some cheese and bought me Final Draft, which is the software that you write your movies on. And she got me that.”

You can watch this part of the interview at the 7:39 mark.

Veronica Wells is the culture editor at MadameNoire.com. She is also the author of “Bettah Days” and the creator of the website NoSugarNoCreamMag. You can follow her on Facebook and on Instagram and Twitter @VDubShrug.

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