Black Panther felt like an "unprecedented" Marvel movie during the production, according to actress Danai Gurira.
Chadwick Boseman, who plays T'Challa aka Black Panther, the king of the fictional African nation of Wakanda, was first introduced to fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) in 2016's Captain America: Civil War, and he was given his own film, the first in the MCU to have an African-American lead and supporting cast.
Black Panther is very different from what has come before in the MCU, and Danai, who plays Okoye, admits it felt that way on the set and they worked hard to get the African experience right.
"There's a beauty and epic quality that Marvel brings to all its products, and it was combined with telling this beautiful story coming from an African perspective," she told Little White Lies magazine. "I'm from Zimbabwe, where storytelling is very important, so right down to the culture in the film, we worked hard to get it right.
"From the language and the accent to the cultural nuances and traits, and the perspective of the characters and the history of the story, it felt very unprecedented and at the same time very universal, which is what great storytelling is."
The Walking Dead actress plays the head of Dora Milaje, the all-female special forces of Wakanda, who serve as T'Challa's bodyguards, alongside Lupita Nyong'o, and her co-stars also include Michael B. Jordan, Daniel Kaluuya, Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett.
The 39-year-old admitted the shoot was challenging but it was worth it.
"Of course it was a lot of hard work and we gave our entirety to it, but simultaneously there was a great reward coming, in how we felt such a connection to what we were doing," she explained.
Black Panther, which is directed by Ryan Coogler, hits cinemas in February (18).