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Surprising Reason Danai Gurira is Sleeveless in 'Black Panther'

Black Panther (2017) - Okeyo (Danai Gurira), Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o) and Ayo (Florence Kasumba)
Why does Okoye wear a sleeveless dress?

Ruth E. Carter tells a wonderful story that shows how quickly things can and need to change in the costume department. She tells about when they were getting ready to film one of the final scenes in the movie at the United Nations. It was shot nearly on the first day.

Gurira plays Okoye, the head of the Dora Milaje.

She says that arrived on-set that morning and was called to Danai Gurira’s trailer.

When I arrived. Danai is surrounded by her on-set dresser, Yen Do, and her personal assistant. They both had a look of concern on their faces. Danai looks at me and says “I want to show my arms!”

Gurira is known for her intense physical presence and especially her muscular and toned arms. In an interview with Self Magazine, she said her arms come from swinging the massive katana on The Walking Dead.

"The exactness and speed with which she wields her samurai sword, or katana, takes not only incredible strength but also perfect equilibrium,"  says Gurira. "The power comes from the way you pivot your hips. Your feet have to be well placed, your shoulders dropped, your core engaged. And your arms have to be very precise. My katana is solid steel, so it's like swinging a 5-foot-long dumbbell."

The black dress covered her arms.

The dress at present was a long tight silk jersey with long sleeves! And they were [already] on set.  Without a second glance or giving up any “push back”,  without any argument, I examined the dress closely and noticed that the design lines of the dress dramatically flowed around the shoulder. I looked at the dressmaker, Tamara, and I said, “Ok [let's] remove the sleeves from here to there.” Time was critical. No time to second guess anything. 

Gambling again, off the dress went. Both sleeves came off in an instant. Tamara’s hands were shaking the whole time as she sewed and cleaned up the edges. We had to work very fast. It was a miracle that Lupita’s fitting went so well. That gave us time to work out Danai.  And both dresses turned out beautifully. It was a purely an instinctual move and a big risk that paid off!

Make sure you check out the rest of Ruth E. Carter's amazing stories on her blog Ruth Carter


Official Synopsis: "After the events of Marvel's Captain America: Civil War, King T'Challa returns home to the reclusive, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to serve as his country's new leader. However, T'Challa soon finds that he is challenged for the throne from factions within his own country. When two foes conspire to destroy Wakanda, the hero known as Black Panther must team up with C.I.A. agent Everett K. Ross and members of the Dora Milaje, Wakanadan special forces, to prevent Wakanda from being dragged into a world war."

Black Panther (2018) stars Chadwick Boseman as T'Challa / Black Panther, Michael B. Jordan as Erik Killmonger, Lupita Nyong'o as Nakia, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross, Daniel Kaluuya as W'Kabi, Angela Bassett as Ramonda, Forest Whitaker as Zuri, Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaue, Florence Kasumba as Ayo, John Kani as T'Chaka, Winston Duke as M'Baku / Man Ape, Letitia Wright as Shuri, Sterling K. Brown as N'Jobu, Isaach de Bankolé, Nabiyah Be as Tilda Johnson, Sydelle Noel as Xoliswa, and Atandwa Kani.
Directed by Ryan Coogler
Screenplay by Joe Robert Cole and Ryan Coogler
Music by Ludwig Göransson
Cinematography by Rachel Morrison
Production design by Hannah Beachler

Black Panther (2018) is scheduled to be released February 16, 2018 (United States)

What do you think of the Black Panther costumes?

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