Generous, intelligent and copiously talented, Wright is the new face of a changing Hollywood. This month, she stars alongside Lupita Nyong'o and Chadwick Boseman in the highly anticipated Black Panther, the first Marvel superhero film with a majority-black cast.
Next up is Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One in March, before she dons her superhero suit again for the next Avengers film in April. We caught up with the actor to talk about her silver-screen takeover.
ELLE: Tell us a bit about Shuri, your character in Black Panther…
LW: I love that she's an 18-year-old princess and she's in charge of so much. I watched YouTube videos of real African princesses: they're normal girls who happen to be royalty, and I wanted to hijack that idea and make her really fun.
ELLE: It's Marvel's first superhero movie starring a mostly black cast. Why has it taken so long?
LW: I think it just takes the realisation that people want something different. For me, because there was such a lack of [diversity in film], then we did get it, there's a real appreciation of it. It shows that, as audience members, we want to see different things now; we want to see society reflected on screen. I've always wanted to do projects that have an impact, and this is a film that is going to shift things in a positive direction.
ELLE: You attended Identity School of Acting in London, a part-time drama school. How important are institutions like that?
LW: Instead of complaining about how high the RADA fees are, Femi Oguns, my friend, agent and the CEO of Identity, formed his own school. Identity has supported the dreams of so many people, from John Boyega and Idris Elba to Malachi Kirby and myself. I don't think it's a bad thing to go to a traditional drama school, but if you can't afford it, what can you do? The school helped me so much.
I've always wanted to do projects that have an impact, and this is a film that is going to shift things in a positive direction
ELLE: What else can be done to make the film industry more inclusive?
LW: We need to include more writers from different backgrounds and ethnicities. We need to see different experiences instead of the same people writing the same kinds of stories. We need to hire more young people, and more women, because that shakes things up. We need to open up the circle, and make things different; that's how you get the Ava DuVernays and the Ryan Cooglers of the world. Audiences are screaming for something different, and there's an awakening happening. Let's push each other forward.
Black Panther is out on 12 February