Danai Gurira worked with an Olympic swimming coach to prepare for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
In Marvel's latest superhero movie, the nation of Wakanda faces a new threat from an underwater community called the Talokan, and when Danai learned of this in the script, she found herself an Olympic-level swimming trainer to prepare for those scenes.
"As I'm sure you've seen in the previews, there's a little bit of water in this movie. So when I heard that, I hadn't read the script, but I went and found this Olympic-trainer swimming coach," she said in a cover interview with The Cut. "I was like, 'Teach me everything.' It wasn't really necessary to go in like that, but I went all in. It was really fun to really work at improving my stroke and to see improvement and transformation in my technique and in my speed."
The Walking Dead star, who plays warrior Okoye in the franchise, sent a video of her progress to director Ryan Coogler and he was "in shock" over her swimming skills.
Elsewhere in the interview, the 44-year-old shared that returning to the set where Wakanda's tribal council hold meetings was particularly emotional for her following the death of her co-star Chadwick Boseman.
"You didn’t know how and when the grief would hit you. Walking into the tribal council room - a room from the first movie where the throne is and all the counsellors sit around it - was very emotional for me, and I didn’t expect it to be. You just can’t anticipate those sorts of things because the last time we were there, it had been with him," she stated.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, also starring Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett and Lupita Nyong'o, is in cinemas now.