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13 Things You Probably Didn't Know About The Actress Who Plays Shuri AKA Our New Favorite Disney Princess

Nothing but respect for my Disney princess.

If you're like me, you've already pledged your allegiance to Black Panther's Shuri, aka the best Disney princess of ALL. TIME. #isaidwhatisaid

Marvel Studios / Via

In case you haven't seen the history-making, record-breaking film yet, 16-year-old Shuri is princess of Wakanda and an engineering prodigy responsible for creating some dope-ass technologically advanced gadgets and weapons, like her big bro's bulletproof Black Panther suit and these killer "kitten paws."

Well this is Letitia Wright, the scene-stealing superstar responsible for bringing the Marvel heroine to life.

Roy Rochlin / Getty Images

1. She was born in Guyana and raised in London.

Roy Rochlin / Getty Images

Letitia and her mother, an educator, emigrated from the South American nation Guyana to London when she was 7.

2. The 2006 flick Akeelah and the Bee, starring Keke Palmer, inspired her to act.

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The coming-of-age film centers on Akeelah Anderson, a brilliant 11-year-old girl from Crenshaw, Los Angeles who participates in the insanely difficult Scripps National Spelling Bee. “It’s not a famous film, but it just shifted something for me — someone that looks like me, doing something positive," she told The Guardian. Little did young Letitia know that the iconic actress who played Akeelah's mother

— Angela Bassett — would end up playing her very own mother in Black Panther.

3. She attended London's Identity School of Acting. Fellow alums include Star Wars: The Last Jedi's John Boyega and Root's Malachi Kirby.

Stuart C. Wilson/Valerie Macon/Jeff Spicer / Getty Images

Femi Oguns MBE founded the London school in 2003 as a "response to the need for an establishment that reflected and catered for actors coming from a multi-cultural society," the school's bio states. He recently told BBC, "rather than join a chorus of complaint [about the industry's lack of diversity] I decided to do something about it."

4. She's one of the few Avenger actors under 30.

Ethan Miller / Getty Images

Because #blackdontcrack, Letitia was hella convincing as a teenage princess. But she was born on on Oct. 31, 1993, which makes her 24 years old.

5. She plays the smartest person not just in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but in the world (yes, she's even smarter than Tony Stark aka Iron Man.)

6. She'll be returning as Shuri in Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War this spring.

Marvel / Via

Yep, ya girl Shuri will be back on the big screen alongside a TON of other Avenger superheroes in the upcoming blockbuster. We don't know what her storyline will be or how large the role is, but a few fan theories involve her upgrading Captain America's shield and getting super techie with Tony Stark or Rocket Raccoon.

7. She's also gonna be in Steven Spielberg's highly-anticipated blockbuster Ready Player One.

Warner Bros.

According to IMDb, she'll be playing the role of Reb...and that's all we know for now. Well, that and the fact that she'll be acting with (and, hopefully, alongside) Lena Waithe. The movie drops March 29.

8. She starred in the Season 4 finale of Black Mirror.

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And the episode The Black Museum is arguably the most fucked up one of the season. It sparked A LOT of interesting think pieces on race, social (in)justice, and technology.

9. She starred in the West End production of Eclipsed, an award-winning play written by her Black Panther co-star Danai Gurira. Her role was later reprised in a NYC off-Broadway production by her other Black Panther co-star Lupita Nyong'o.

Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images

10. She holds the crown as "the queen of rap battle in Wakanda."

The Black Panther lives... and so does Troublemaker! Introducing MC Underbite (@LetitiaWright), best freestyler in…

While Shuri's heir to the Wakanda throne, Letitia's apparently already locked down another queen status. "I’m still the queen of rap battle in Wakanda," she told Vanity Fair. She and other Black Panther folks would reportedly have impromptu rap battles while shooting onset. “Danai tried a lot, but she failed, epically," she added, in true Shuri roast fashion.

11. The director who helped launch a teenage Leonardo DiCaprio's career thinks Letitia is "gobsmackingly brilliant" and sees the same mega-success in her future.

Rich Polk / Getty Images

When filmmaker Michael Caton-Jones cast a 16-year-old Leonardo DiCaprio as the lead in his critically acclaimed 1993 film This Boy's Life, he believed the young actor had a "natural gift." And he had the same gut-reaction about Letitia when he cast her as the lead role (which, initially, wasn't even written for a black actor) in his 2015 hit film Urban Hymn. “I’ve not felt like this about someone since Leonardo. I’ve had plenty of really good actors, but I just go on my instinct," Caton-Jones told The Guardian. "My instinct is she can be as big as she wants. Letitia is just gobsmackingly brilliant. The camera loves her. She has an emotional honesty."

12. She praises God for her professional and personal success.

Do you mind if I praise God? Just want to give thanks to God for all of the blessings and all he has done for the…

Letitia reportedly took a break from acting at age 20 after becoming severely depressed, having realized she'd become wholly obsessed with and dependent on her craft. “I was in the dark going through so many bad things, when the world didn’t know about Shuri and Letitia and whatever is happening now,” she revealed to Vanity Fair.

Today, she credits her success to her relationship with God, which was seeded at a London actors’ Bible study that she attended with her then-classmate Malachi Kirby. “I said, ‘Okay, Jesus, I’ll try you,’ and I haven’t looked back since,” the actress told W Magazine. “I don’t really consider myself religious. I view it more as a relationship. And if anyone thinks that’s weird, then okay."

13. And she plans on chilling TF out for the rest of 2018.

now time to hide away with Jesus! Restore my soul with Gods love and presence 🌸💕💕

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, she answered the question that everyone's been dying to know: What's next? “I’m not going to rush into anything; I’m going to really just take a step back, travel a little bit more and then live life,” she said. “Restore myself, and just get my mind focused on what’s next.” Go 'head, girl! You deserve all that and more.


A previous version of this story mentioned that the Identity School of Acting was founded in 2013. It was actually founded in 2003. My apologies!