Segments in this Video

Gurira Meets Students (02:15)


Danai Gurira gives an inspiring speech to students of the African Leadership Council and treats them to free tickets to see Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther.” She and Carlos Watson discuss women’s rights in Zimbabwe and her decision to attend college in the United States.

From Minnesota to Cape Town (01:49)

Gurira recalls studying psychology at Minnesota’s Macalester College and eye-opening experiences she had studying abroad at the University of Cape Town. She says the latter inspired her to apply to graduate programs for acting.

Acceptance to NYU (02:23)

Gurira discusses her experiences at New York University’s exclusive Tisch School of the Arts, which accepted her in 2001. She calls this her "apprenticeship” and says this is where she learned the rules so she would know how to break them.

"The Continuum" (03:12)

Gurira recalls influential mentor Zelda Fichandler, a pioneer of regional theater in America. “She taught us how to create our own work,” she says, elaborating on circumstances that led to writing her first play, which focuses on the AIDS crisis in Africa.

Finding the Right Role (02:32)

Gurira recalls struggling to find acting jobs following her tour with “The Continuum” and the lack of well-rounded roles for black actors. “She has a really high standard for parts,” Professor Jim Calder explains.

Gurira Writes "Eclipsed" (02:51)

Director Liesl Tommy describes the circumstances that lead to collaborating with Gurira on her play. “Within the first five pages I knew that she was doing something different,” Tommy says. The play tells the story of five women who have been kidnapped from their villages in Liberia.

"The Walking Dead" (02:16)

Gurira discusses becoming a household name as Michonne, the popular, katana-wielding zombie killer from AMC-TV’s popular series. Andrew Lincoln—who plays her lover, Rick—describes the hit show as “a family drama set in Hell.” Gurira finds similarities between Michonne and the characters she wrote for “Eclipsed.”

Lupita Nyong'o Joins "Eclipse" Cast (03:20)

Nyong'o joined the cast fresh off her Oscar-winning performance in “12 Years a Slave.” Her star power paves the way for a run on Broadway and six Tony Awards nominations. Gurira used the platform to draw attention to the plight of girls kidnapped by the terrorist group, Boko Haram.

Joining Marvel Universe (02:55)

Gurira discusses becoming a superhero in Marvel Studios’ 2018 blockbuster “Black Panther,” the third highest grossing domestic film release of all time. In real life, she is seen as a hero for breaking down barriers for African and African-American artists.

Credits: Danai Gurira: Part 3 (01:35)

Credits: Danai Gurira: Part 3

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Episode 3: Danai Gurira (Breaking Big)

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Danai Gurira, a native of Zimbabwe, yearned to bring African faces and voices to Broadway through her plays. But how did this Tony Award-nominated writer make the leap from dramatic story teller to Hollywood superstar, with starring roles in mega-hits The Walking Dead and Black Panther?

Length: 27 minutes

Item#: BVL166878

Copyright date: ©2018

Closed Captioned

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