The time has finally arrived!
Global Grind Sr. Content Director Janeé Bolden chatted with ‘The Woman King’ stars Sheila Atim, John Boyega and Lashana Lynch about being in the presence of so many powerful Black women creating art. Wait until you see how John Boyega was dancing in his seat as he described watching his castmates train for their roles.
Sheila Atim Describes Being Awestruck And Overjoyed While Making ‘The Woman King’
“There were moments when I would look at the monitors… and just see a sea of Black women and it would be like, ‘Oh yeah this who I am, this is what I’m doing,'” Sheila Atim, who plays Amenza — right hand to General Nanisca (Viola Davis), told Global Grind.
“It was wonderful to be in the physical presence of that, but to see it through a lens as well, that would bring it home that this is going to be part of a huge film that is going to be on a massive screen. It’s going to be seen around the world, people are going to sit there with their popcorn and their drinks and they’re going to see us when it’s framed and edited and graded and I was so excited for us. I was like, ‘Wow we really deserve this.’ I’m overjoyed that we get to have this and I hope we get to have many more moments like this.”
While Sheila Atim was impressed by the vision of so many powerful Black women on screen, Lashana Lynch told us she found strength in the softer side of the sisterhood on set.
Lashana Lynch Describes Powerful’The Woman King’ Hair Braiding Scene
“I found that even the word power, in Black women, that there is a deeper level in that,” Lashana Lynch, who plays Izogie, told Global Grind. “There’s a scene when Izogie is imparting her love through another character’s hair. I realize that I hadn’t been able to express that before.”
“There were many times when I had characters where I was like, ‘Maybe she can do her hair? Maybe she could grease her scalp? Maybe she could do something to do with her hair?'” Lynch recalled. “Because there’s so much love in there. We know what it’s like being in the hairdressers and the barbers. This is our community, it’s where we converse, it’s where we’re really able to really impart knowledge and learn things. In that scene, I felt like this idea of mentorship and sisterhood and really raising our young Black women to be all they can be, and listening to them, really giving them an ear, was really important for me as an actor. I can’t wait for everyone to see it and see the different dynamics we can really have with Black women of different ages. There are many moments in this film where I thought of women’s power, but I liked the delicacy of the power that I learned in this.”
John Boyega’s Sister Worked As His Personal Assistant On “The Woman King” Production
In ‘The Woman King,’ John Boyega plays King Ghezo, a real historical figure who ruled the Kingdom of Dahomey. When we interviewed Boyega about working among so many powerful Black women, he LITERALLY danced in his chair describing the joy he experienced watching his costars train on set.
“I enjoyed just being there and experiencing everybody in their element, everybody training, committed and devoted in their work,” John Boyega told Global Grind. “But on top of that, I had my sister working on the project as my assistant and to see, as a Black woman, the way she was inspired by what she was seeing. When you lot were doing the dances. Just to see the culture, that Gina [Prince-Bythewood] injected on purpose and then just to see our actresses embrace it for me is inspirational, and long may that continue. I was behind the camera like, ‘Go on girls, get it, get it!'”
“You all were going in,” he continued, turning to Lashana and Sheila. “Viola too. I remember that day, the choreographer had to teach you fresh on set. They just figured it out and then the next hour they were all just doing this dance and for me it was just like wow, I can’t even believe I’m sitting here watching this. That’s not what you see every day on set, trust.”
“The Woman King” is in theatres September 16. It’s one of our favorite films this year.