'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever' actor Janeshia Adams-Ginyard on playing Nomble and Okoye, and honoring Chadwick Boseman
- Janeshia Adams-Ginyard spoke to Insider about appearing in multiple Marvel projects.
- She told Insider that she broke her hand while filming "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever."
Marvel actor Janeshia Adams-Ginyard makes her sixth appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," although many fans may not recognize her.
Adams-Ginyard first joined the MCU in the first "Black Panther" movie, in which she played both her own character, an originally unnamed member of the Dora Milaje, and worked as a stunt double for Okoye actor Danai Gurira.
From there, the 38-year-old actor continued her journey in stunt work and acting. She worked as the double for Okoye in "Avengers: Infinity War" and "Avengers: Endgame," and made an appearance in the Disney+ series "The Falcon and The Winter Soldier," in which her character finally received a name: Nomble.
In a recent interview with Insider, Adams-Ginyard spoke about her Marvel journey, attending the "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" world premiere in body paint, and honoring Chadwick Boseman's legacy.
Insider: You worked with Chadwick Boseman on the first "Black Panther." What was your reaction when you found out about his death?
Adams-Ginyard: I was actually driving cross country to visit my best friend when I was given the news. Our squads kind of intertwined, so I was able to hang out with Chadwick a couple times when we weren't even shooting. So, the squad was making sure that I had made it to my destination before they delivered the news and before I would hear about it on TV. When I stepped foot into that hotel room and received that phone call, I literally screamed at the top of my lungs. I just couldn't believe it.
I was having this moment of, "I cannot even breathe right now. What are you telling me?" And then you find out there was an illness and you're like, "Wait, we just did this movie for five, six months, crazy long hours, and he did all of that in his condition?" It was a lot to take in. This is why he is gonna be celebrated because no one does that.
Insider: When you were called back for the sequel, what was the atmosphere like on set?
Every time I was on set, I always had my own private moment of silence and my own prayer because I'm like, "I am here because of Chadwick, because of what he poured into that first one and the success that it had."
The ones that had a chance to work with Chad, and be side-by-side with him on set, you could see us in our thoughts. Sometimes there were tears being shed. I shed a couple of tears. He was so missed.
Insider: You have been the stunt double for Danai Gurira's character, Okoye, in three Marvel films. But you also play your own character as part of the elite warrior team, the Dora Milaje. What was it like switching between the two roles?
That was the first time where I have a character who is identified by her facial tattoo over the right side of her face. And then be told, "Oh yeah, you're also gonna be the [stunt double for Okoye]." You're like, "Okay Marvel, double duty, let's go."
It wasn't much different, because Okoye and my Dora Milaje character used the same weapon. So, that was very easy to transition into and we're on the same team. The only difference really was making sure that the costumes and wardrobe department knew that I am going to be switching over to gold because Okoye has gold accents and then the rest of the Dora Milaje were all silver.
Insider: You've also been in two Marvel Disney+ series; "WandaVision," as the stunt double for Teyonah Parris' Monica Rambeau, and "Falcon and the Winter Soldier," playing your Dora Milaje character, Nomble. How did the sets differ?
On "The Falcon and Winter Soldier," Anthony Mackie's cracking jokes all the time. He's having fun with Sebastian, and you can't help but laugh. He is making the entire cast and crew laugh. And so that energy and vibe was totally different than on the "WandaVision" set. I feel like it was a little bit more like, "Hey, so this is what we gotta do today." Teyonah was just awesome. She's like, "Girl, I know you got this." The vibes are a little bit different, because on "WandaVision," I didn't really know what to expect because it was such a different type of set.
Insider: Your Dora Milaje character was given a name in "Falcon and the Winter Soldier." Were you told about the meaning behind it?
I actually have no idea how they chose it, but it just goes to show you the care and the deep research that Marvel puts into all of their characters. I didn't even know, which is the crazy part. So, "The Falcon and The Winter Soldier" would come out on Fridays, but I think there was an early release on Thursday because I was getting screenshots from fans and I was like, "What are you talking about?"
Insider: So you found out through the fans?
Yes, I found out because someone screenshotted the credit at the end of episode four. And I said, "Oh, I got a name!" Next thing you know, I have my name and my picture, and the fans already had a Nomble Wiki fan Marvel page set up that told me what tribe I came from. And I'm like, "Okay, thank you."
Insider: Your PR mentioned that you also broke your hand during training for "Wakanda Forever."
I broke my left hand two months into shooting this movie while training. And to this day, the person who was involved in it has no idea. I told my agent, I told my best friend, and there were three other people. It was five of us that knew about it. My king, Chadwick, went through way more pain than this and shot an entire movie. We can get through this broken hand. That was literally my motivation behind it. And let me tell you, every day I cried myself to sleep. It was the worst pain I've ever been through in my life.
Insider: You attended the world premiere in this beautiful body-painted design and a mural of Chadwick Boseman on your back. What was the inspiration behind it?
I wanted to outdo myself from the first "Black Panther" premiere, where I killed it, and honor Chad at the same time. I'm like, "You gotta channel and do what the ancestors do. How do they celebrate people? How do they do tributes?" And when you do your research, the ancestors use body paint to celebrate a lot of different events and occasions. And I said, "That's what we gonna do."
[Artist] Jody Steele painted me before but this was the first time she's ever done full body paint on me. And that was the only person I thought of when I decided I wanted to do full body paint. I did not even know what the theme was for the premiere. We didn't even have an invite until less than a week before the premiere. [The theme] said celebratory attire and I think we were in perfect alignment with our plan. It was supposed to work out that way.
Insider: What was the reaction on the night?
No one knew about Chadwick on the back. So, we did this reveal, and I think people were shocked because they just didn't know it was paint. They thought it was a skin-type body suit. And then, bam, they're like: "It's Chadwick on the back. Okay, this is not a skin-type suit, this is her body."
I think everyone was already jaw-dropped that I came there with body paint. But then to know the story behind it, and to know that Chad was placed on the back and that this was done and executed months in advance with love and care, people loved it. I had people taking pictures of the front and the back. They're like, "Can we get a picture of you? Okay, now turn around."
"Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" is in theaters now.
This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
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