I can’t stop raving about Disney new film “Queen of Katwe”. It is a beautiful film that is inspiring and motivating. The movie is base on the true life story of ““Phiona Mutesi” and her triumph journey from the rural streets of Uganda to becoming an international chess champion.
Although the story itself is amazing, I believe the impact the movie will have on you would not be possible if it were played out by a different cast. The wonderful relationship that Lupita Nyong’o (“Harriet Mutesi”), Madina Nalwanga (“Phiona Mutesi”) and Martin Kabanza (Phiona’s brother “Brian Mugabi”) created on and off the set is the number one spice that brought this movie to life.
I was blessed to have an opportunity to interview the lovely trio and learned a few fun fact that I thought I would share with you. Please feel free to share with your friend by clicking on the share buttons above and to the right of the page.
Here are Fun Facts about the Cast of “Queen of Katwe”.
1) Hi Mom
One day as Lupita Nyong’o (“Harriet Mutesi” was walking into a rehearsal workshop for the film Madina greeted her with Hi, Mom. From that point on Lupita a mother figure to the kids. Both Madina Nalwanga (“Phiona Mutesi”) and Martin Kabanza (Phiona’s brother “Brian Mugabi”) lost their mothers and because of Lupita ongoing guidance on set, felt a personal connection with her.
She was there for me to make sure that I get into character… She really helped me so much. That’s why I still call her mom because ever since I was young and … I left my mom because she wanted me to go to school… I’ve never had someone else or anyone else that I’ve ever called Mom since I was four… So she was the first one to be called mom.” ~ Madina Nalwanga
My grandparents raised me. My mother left me when I was three months old,… So this was my first time to say mom in my mouth.” ~ Martin Kabanza
2) Ice Breaker
Medina sold corn in her past and Lupita ask Medina to show her how she went shopping in the market. Afterward, Lupita helped prepare dinner.
Madina actually taught me how to cook… She sold corn in her past and I asked her to show me to go shopping in the market. How she’d do it and she did all the shopping. My whole onscreen family, we went and did it together and then we went back to her house and she showed me how to prepare the meal. And we all played a role in, in the preparation of the meal…. So we broke the ice and we had a really great working relationship. They’re really hungry and curious and present as actors and it was so lovely for me to have that kind of immediate condition to work in.” ~ Lupita Nyong’o
3) Real Emotions
Unfortunately, Madina Nalwanga (“Phiona Mutesi”) and Martin Kabanza (Phiona’s brother “Brian Mugabi”) both have been evicted from their homes at one point in their lives. Therefore the two could relate to the “Phiona Mutesi” struggles.
… We were about to shoot, the eviction scene, you know, where we all, we get evicted and I was sitting in our, tent where we’d wait and these two were very quiet … and I asked them, you know, how they felt. And they both mentioned how this was their life. They both experienced evictions in their past and I just remember being really moved at how this, the artifice was reflecting a real life in Phiona, … and that they were having this chance to tell their story, … it to a larger audience that would understand the challenges of poverty.” ~ Lupita Nyong’o’
It was the kids first time acting and Lupita taught them how to get into character.
I really used to copy her and I named myself copycat because every time I could see her getting into character, I do what she was doing in quiet ways … and she really helped me in some of the hard scenes that are really hard because I could not really cry because you’ll never find dancers sad.” ~ Madina Nalwanga
5) Let’s Eat
Martin Kabanza (Phiona’s brother “Brian Mugabi”) favorite scene is where they are in the dining hall eating chicken. However, mommy Lupita had to caution him not to eat too much because more was coming and he needed to pace himself to get through the scene.
… You can’t eat too much because there’s going to be so many takes and you’re going to be sick by the time you finish the scene and I wasn’t there for that scene, but we had a scene where we had to eat this stew and …the stew so good, so all the kids were just like, scarfing it down and I was like, guy, you’ve got to slow down because you’re not going to make it.” ~ Lupita Nyong’o’
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QUEEN OF KATWE opens in theaters this Friday, September 23rd!