Amandla Stenberg is only taking roles that are near and dear to her heart.
The 19-year-old actress first made waves with her emotional performance in 2012's Hunger Gamesand then waited for the right role to come her way. Wise beyond her years, waiting also cost her a part in the biggest movie of the year so far, Black Panther.
"One of the most challenging things for me to do was to walk away from Black Panther," Stenberg revealed in an interview with CBC Arts. "I got really, really close and they were like, 'Do you want to continue fighting for this?' And I was like, this isn't right."
"These are all dark skin actors playing Africans and I feel like it would have just been off to see me as a bi-racial American with a Nigerian accent just pretending that I'm the same color as everyone else in the movie," she continued.
But Stenberg, who is biracial, says she has "no regrets" about passing up the opportunity.
"That was really challenging, to make that decision, but I have no regrets," she confessed. "I recognize 100 percent that there are spaces that I should not take up and when I do take up a space it's because I've thought really, really critically about it and I've consulted people I really trust and it feels right."
The actress also expressed that she's "someone who cannot fake it. I can only do something with my full heart invested or just not do it at all."
While Stenberg is still young, she admits that her career is not a race. "I didn't feel like I had to be working all the time just to prove that I could work," she confessed. "I still have a lot of time. You don't have to force your career to happen all at once. "
"I also just like to play characters that I believe in, that are three-dimensional, that I think are worth it," Stenberg continued. "I don't really want to have to diminish myself to something less nuanced or less authentic just because those roles don't normally exist for someone like me."
Meanwhile, Black Panther has been heating up at the box office. On Thursday, the movie became the 17th highest domestic release in only 13 days, grossing $763.3 million in the U.S., according to Variety.
For more on the Marvel superhero flick, watch below.
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