Letitia Wright opens up on her emotional Bafta acceptance speech: ‘I wanted to speak from my heart’

The Black Panther star made waves with viewers thanks to a heartfelt speech – and backstage, she revealed that she’d not planned for it at all

EE British Academy Film Awards - Red Carpet Arrivals

Black Panther’s Letitia Wright made one of the most striking speeches of the 2019 Bafta Film Awards, sharing a story of her depression and near-exit from acting a few years ago in an attempt to inspire anyone who might be struggling with similar issues.

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“I want to encourage you, anyone that’s going through a hard time….God made you, and you’re important,” she concluded, her EE Rising star Bafta in hand.

“Just let your light shine. God bless you all.”

It was a moving moment that attracted much praise from fans online – and speaking backstage Wright revealed exactly what had inspired her to make the speech, which she said was entirely off-the-cuff.

“I didn’t write anything, I just thought, if I were to win I’d just speak from my heart,” Wright told press including RadioTimes.com backstage after accepting her award.

“I knew that I was struggling with stuff that many people in the industry were struggling with and are hiding away from and not opening up and telling people about.

“Whether it be sadness, depression, thinking they’re not good enough and not allowing their light to shine within them,” she continued.

“That was my opportunity to say it to them, that ‘Hey, I see you and I understand what you’re going through.’

“This looks great, a red carpet and a nice dress looks great. But people on the inside are feeling sad and they’re feeling broken, so how can I encourage them tonight?”

Letitia Wright plays Shuri in Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War
Letitia Wright plays Shuri in Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War (Marvel Studios)

However, in trying to make an impact for the greater good, Wright actually ended up leaving some fairly important people out of her speech..

“I forgot to thank my mum!” she laughed. “So I thank my mum, my dad and everyone that voted for me.”

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We’re sure that plenty of people watching at home would thank her, too.