The biggest movie of 2018 is by far Black Panther. The film stars some of the best of the best when it comes to actors: Angela Bassett, Chadwick Boseman, Forest Whitaker, Michael B. Jordan…the list goes on and on. Many other seasoned actors who have been acting for decades tried to get in on this movie, but were turned down. One actress, though, she had just begun acting when she was 88, and landed the role of a lifetime as an elder in Black Panther, proving that it’s never too late to go for your dreams.
Now, 92, Dorothy Steel plays a tribe leader in the fictional land of Wakanda.
“It was just amazing, it truly was,” Steel told WSBTV-Channel 2’s Nefertiti Jaquez.
The film did and still is breaking records. It’s recorded that it hit $218 million in sales over a three-day weekend as well as is breaking merchandizing records, not to mention it’s the best February release of any movie, ever AND the best first weekend release of any Marvel film.
Steel landed the job after she sent her audition tape when Marvel called her last year.
“We sent it in and an hour later they said, “Who is that old lady? We want her,'” she recalled.
Steel ended up landing the part of the merchant tribal elder who advises the King of Wakanda played by lead actor Chadwick Boseman.
“Chadwick the King. Every day, he would make sure if I was on the set, he would come by and make sure he gave me a big old hug and kiss,” Steel said.
With most of the cast being younger, Steel said she quickly became the “grandmother” on the set of ‘Black Panther,’ which she said is not just a movie but a movement.
“We were one big melting pot of black people and we knew we were doing something that had never been done before. Ya know?” she said.
Steel’s accomplishment is really extraordinary, especially for an older Black woman in Hollywood. While male actors see their careers peak at the age of 46, female actors reach their professional pinnacles at age 30, according to a TIME analysis of the careers of over 6,000 actors and actresses.
And things aren’t getting better. Women today who are the age of 60 are seeing…
…the number of roles they are cast in decline faster than their older peers once did. At the same time, younger men are seeing their careers peak even later their older peers.
But those stats doesn’t seem to phase Steel about her worth nor the incredible power of this film.
“We have power and it’s time for us to step up and take over. That’s what we have to do and take over,” she said.