Lupita Nyong'o says her 'Blank Panther' alter ego isn't your "average damsel in distress".
The 34-year-old actress plays Special Forces warrior Nakia in the new Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, and has described the heroine as a "war dog" who proves useful to the titular hero [Chadwick Boseman].
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lupita said: "[She] is a war dog, which means that she is an undercover spy for Wakanda. She goes out into the world to places like Korea.
"She has a special relationship with T'Challa and what I love about that relationship is that it's not your average, you know, sweetheart story [with a] damsel in distress. They have a history but she is a reliable ear for him."
The movie's helmer, Ryan Coogler, and Nyong'o previously revealed the filmmaker avoided the "expected female-rival narrative" in the latest film.
Nyong'o said: "Ryan made a point of avoiding the expected female-rival narrative. In this genre, where spandex is involved, oftentimes the women are pitted against each other. In our story, there are so many different women holding their own space. Women may be in competition with each other, sure, but that doesn't necessarily mean there's an absence of love or respect. Shuri [Letitia Wright] is the sister to the Black Panther [Chadwick Boseman] and the leader of technological pursuits and Nakia is someone who has a complicated history with the Black Panther and is a warrior in her own right. You see them work together, and you see a dynamic that is really encouraging. Making this film awakened me. I walked away from this experience feeling extremely supported and I felt challenged."
The motion picture is expected to expand on the storyline that was first introduced in 'Captain America: Civil War' of how T'Challa becomes the Black Panther.
T'Challa's father T'Chaka is king of the African nation Wakanda and has the ceremonial title Black Panther as the chief of the Panther Tribe, but is killed when a bomb goes off at the UN making his son the Black Panther.
Other actors in the movie include Forest Whitaker, who will take on the role of Zuri, an elder statesman in Wakanda, and 'The Walking Dead' star Danai Gurira, who is to portray Okoye, the head of the Dora Milaje, the Black Panther's personal bodyguards.