Lupita Nyong'o

James Gillham/Still Moving, Ltd.

Not even the cast could've predicted the sheer excitement surrounding Black Panther's release. 

As critics continue to rave about the latest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the action flick's talented stars came together for a candid Twitter Q&A on Monday afternoon. Actors Chadwick BosemanLupita Nyong'oMichael B. JordanDanai GuriraWinston Duke and Letitia Wright all participated, each reflecting on what it means to be included in the project of a lifetime. 

From the moment the first trailer for Black Panther dropped last summer, fans couldn't wait to sink their teeth into the fictional nation of Wakanda. As Lupita recalled, "There was this #BlackPantherSoLit thing that was going on, and the memes and the gifs were so entertaining... All the Coming to America references... It's been so joyous." 

She said her co-stars even started a group text to exchange "the best ones," further explaining, "It was a moment where we were just like, ‘Oh my god. We need a support group to handle this!' You know, the enthusiasm?"

Lupita is extremely thankful for the public's response to Black Panther, adding, "People are obviously showing a possession of this, an ownership. That's what dreams are made of for filmmakers—that people relate to it in such a personal way. They feel like this is their story. The community spirit has been amazing."

Boseman wholeheartedly agrees, calling the now-viral 'Black Panther Challenge' an "incredible thing." Hundreds of crowdfunding initiatives have raised over $400,000 to host Black Panther screenings for children all over the United States, and the actor shared onstage, "It inspires us to do the same thing… You can make movies, but I don't know what this is." 

Director Ryan Coogler also shared a powerful message to the lucky kids seeing Black Panther: "Specifically for the black children... I hope that they take away that they never, ever, ever have feel ashamed to be African. It's something to be proud of." 

Black Panther hits theaters Friday, February 16.

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