Ryan Coogler can’t help but feel “naked” when he’s directing in front of a crowd.
The director was the brains behind Black Panther, one of the most talked about films of 2018 and the highest-grossing film ever made by a black director.
Coogler has been praised for his work on the Marvel juggernaut, as well as other films including Fruitvale Station and Creed, but he has now admitted that he often doesn’t feel comfortable while helming a large project.
“What I found made it a lot harder on Black Panther was you’re dealing with so many more people,” he explained to The Hollywood Reporter. “You’ve got to get comfortable directing in a room full of 75, 100 people sometimes. A lot of times, I find directing can make you feel like you’re naked, you know what I mean? So, directing on a 10-person crew is like being naked in front of 10 people, but with 200 people, it’s a different ballgame.”
Black Panther features Chadwick Boseman as the titular character as well as Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o and Danai Gurira.
The film was widely praised for its cultural significance and importance to the black community, and in hindsight, Coogler agrees the movie is political.
“Yeah. It’s about a politician, you know?” the 32-year-old considered. “So, there was no way for it not to be. It’s a character who is the political leader of a fictional country, but we put it on a real continent, we wanted to set it in the real world. So, it’s definitely a political film.”
Black Panther was nominated for three Golden Globe Awards and is in the running for two Screen Actors Guild Awards.