Michael B. Jordan Improvised This Iconic Line In ‘Black Panther,’ Angela Bassett Confirms

Marvel’s blockbuster film Black Panther was a huge hit in 2018, becoming one of the most successful films of the year. The movie also made history by becoming the first superhero film with a predominantly Black cast. And after the recent death of Black Panther’s lead actor, Chadwick Boseman, there’s been a resurgence of interest in the history-making film.

Black Panther has many aspects that have kept viewers engaged since its initial release, from its costumes to its intense action scenes. However, one part of the film that might be overlooked is its strong writing and the free-flowing dialogue of its characters. 

One character in particular, Erik Killmonger (played by Michael B. Jordan), had more than his fair share of memorable lines. And not all of them were actually in the script.

Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger role stayed with him long after ‘Black Panther’ filming wrapped

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RELATED: ‘Black Panther’ Star Michael B. Jordan Felt ‘A Little Bit Depressed’ After Filming Wrapped

Killmonger was one of the most popular characters in Black Panther due to his fierce combat style and rebellious attitude. A rebel from Oakland, California, he had a strong belief that the nation of Wakanda should reign supreme and that he should have been the one ruling it. Ruthless and cunning, he was willing to stop at nothing to claim the throne he felt was rightfully his.

Jordan apparently had gotten so deeply entrenched in the role that after filming wrapped, it was difficult to remove himself from the mindset of the character. After spending months isolating himself from his co-stars on set, he needed therapy to adjust once filming ended. On The Bill Simmons Podcast, he explained the situation.

“I never was in a character for that long of a period of time and [never] was, I guess, that dark, that lonely, that painful,” Jordan said. “I found myself kind of in the routine of being isolated and went out of my way to make sure I was by myself and didn’t say too much more than the usual. Once I got finished wrapping the movie, it took me some time to talk through how I was feeling and why I was feeling so sad and like a little bit depressed.”

Jordan improvised 1 of his most memorable lines in ‘Black Panther’

Although Black Panther had no shortage of funny moments, there were several in particular that stood out. One of them was a scene in which Killmonger is being interrogated by the leadership of Wakanda, who don’t believe he’s a true descendant of their people. 

After he reveals his father was the slain Prince N’Jobu, brother of the now-deceased King T’Chaka, everyone is shocked. One of the leaders, astonished, admits that he is royalty. And Killmonger replies “Hey Auntie” to the queen mother and his aunt by marriage (played by Angela Bassett).

As funny as this line was, Jordan’s co-star Bassett claims the line was not actually in the script and caught everyone off guard. In an interview with AM2DM, she explained.

“Well, he entered the throne room with such disrespect, right? Looking good, but such disrespect,” Bassett said. “So we’re put off, and then he utters that [line], which I think was an improv on his part. I really do. I quite remember being taken aback a little with that. And at the premiere, when he utters that, the whole room just went up and enjoyed it.”

Thanks to some quick thinking on Jordan’s behalf, he was able to turn a tense moment into one of the funniest in the film.