Michael B. Jordan Improvised His Hilarious 'Hey Auntie' Line In 'Black Panther', Angela Bassett Confirms

Marvel’s blockbuster film Black Panther was a huge hit in 2018, becoming one of the most successful films of the year. The movie also made history by becoming the first superhero film with a predominantly Black cast, and after the recent tragic passing of the Black Panther’s lead actor, Chadwick Boseman, there’s been a resurgence of interest in the history-making film.

Black Panther has many aspects that have kept viewers engaged since its initial release, from its costumes to its intense action scenes; however, one part of the film that may be overlooked is its strong writing and the free-flowing dialogue of its characters. 

One character, in particular, Erik Killmonger (played by Michael B. Jordan), had more than his fair share of memorable lines. The most notable was his hilarious “Hey auntie” outburst when he first arrived in Wakanda. As funny as it was, few fans know that this line was actually not in the script. 

Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger role stayed with him long after filming wrapped

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Killmonger was one of the most popular characters in Black Panther due to his fierce combat style and rebellious attitude. A rebel from Oakland, California, he had a strong belief that the nation of Wakanda should reign supreme and that he should have been the one ruling it. Ruthless and cunning, he was willing to stop at nothing to reclaim the throne he felt was rightfully his.

Jordan apparently had gotten so deeply entrenched in the role that after filming wrapped, it was difficult to remove himself from the mindset of the character. After spending months isolating himself from his costars on set, he needed therapy to adjust once filming wrapped.  On The Bill Simmons Podcast, he explained the situation.

“I never was in a character for that long of a period of time and [never] was, I guess, that dark, that lonely, that painful,” Jordan said. “I found myself kind of in the routine of being isolated and went out of my way to make sure I was by myself and didn’t say too much more than the usual. Once I got finished wrapping the movie, it took me some time to talk through how I was feeling and why I was feeling so sad and like a little bit depressed.”

Jordan improvised one his most memorable lines in ‘Black Panther’

Although Black Panther had no shortage of funny moments, there were several in particular that stood out most. One of them happened to be a scene in which Killmonger is being interrogated by the leadership of Wakanda, who don’t believe he’s a true descendant of their people. After he reveals that his father was the slain Prince N’Jobu, everyone is shocked. One of the leaders, astonished, admits that he is royalty, to which he replies “Hey Auntie.”

As funny as this line was, Jordan’s co-star Angela Bassett claims the line was not actually in the script and caught everyone off guard. In an interview with AM2DM, she explained.

“Well, he entered the throne room with such disrespect, right? Looking good, but such disrespect,” Bassett said. “And then he utters that line, which was an improv. I remember being taken aback a little with that…but at the movie premiere, when he uttered that, the whole room just went up and enjoyed it.”

Thanks to some quick thinking on Jordan’s behalf, he was able to turn a tense moment into one of the funniest in the film. 

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