Letitia Wright Says Listening To The Voice In Her Head & Faith In God Paid Off

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They say that when you're little, that thing you dream about doing when you grow up is likely very close to thing that will become your future passion. Black Panther's Letitia Wright has gone from a little island girl with big dreams to a real life movie star and action hero.

When she moved from Guyana to London at the age of eight, something inside of her told her that she was destined for greatness. Wright recently shot the cover of W Magazine and spoke to them about her rise to stardom, her faith, and why listening to the voice within is so important.

Photograph by Alasdair McLellan for 'W Magazine'

"For as long as I can remember, I knew something about my life was meant to be meaningful, that I've got something to do here. I don't know how I knew, but I was sure I'd make an impact."

It's that little voice inside of her head that has helped propel her into stardom. When she was asked to play Rosa Parks in her school's Black History Month performance, a 12-year-old Wright was immediately hooked. The play did so well that it was eventually picked up by a local community theater. At 15, with no money to hire an agent, or to even get her headshots done, Wright used a selfie, her access to the internet, and delivered her self-made packages to big names in the London entertainment industry. She says of her relentless pursuit:

"I kept nagging one in ­particular until the receptionist got sick of me and was finally like, 'Okay, just come in.' I did the reading and got signed on the spot. My mom was like, 'Wow, this really is a thing!' "

Photograph by Alasdair McLellan for 'W Magazine'

That "thing" turned into a budding acting career that, by 18, already had her appearing on three televisions shows, one of which (Top Boy) is considered to be London's version of The Wire. But like so many young success stories before her, Wright might not have been as emotionally prepared for her calling as her determination might have suggested. She says that the pressure to "be somebody" eventually took its toll, and she reveals that she suffered from depression and anxiety, which she tried to ease by drinking and smoking. She says:

"I was depressed and full of anxiety. I think it was that pressure to be accepted, to be somebody. When you're looking outside of yourself for happiness and validation, a mean comment on social media can wreck you. I was okay when I was on set, hiding behind my work, but when I wasn't acting I was full of fear and doubt, trying to fill this void inside of me any way I could: drinking, smoking. It was bad."

Eventually, she was able to lift her head out of the clouds and the bottles and began a spiritual journey that would guide her through the rest of her journey. When she first leaned into Christianity, she wasn't quite sure that she would be able to be both a Christian and an actor. She reveals:

"When I first became a Christian, I said, 'I'm never acting again. I'm done.'"

Her valid concerns of the pitfall of the entertainment industry made her take a full six months off to fully devote herself to God. Once she emerged, Wright realized that she would be strong enough to not only withstand the pressures of accepting roles that would conflict with her values, but that she knew that God was telling her that acting was indeed her calling:

Photograph by Alasdair McLellan for 'W Magazine'

"God was speaking to me and said, 'This is your talent, it's what you're meant to do.'".

Whether it's the voice inside of your head or an actual call from The Creator himself, discernment can play a major role when making those decisions that can impact the rest of your life. For the Marvel star, this is how she approaches anything she takes on, careerwise. She says there are two things that help guide her decision making: whether it has a purpose and if it feels right. She tells W Magazine:

"For me, anything I attach myself to needs to have a purpose. And if it feels like a red light in any way, I don't do it."

She even listened to her inner voice when she went to Atlanta to do the screen test for Shuri, the exact part that would put her on everyone's radar, and on an international scale. Wright says:

"When I went to Atlanta for my screen test, I just felt really peaceful," she says. "It was that inner voice telling me, 'Yes. You can do this.'"

With all this wisdom and discernment, it may be easy to forget that Letitia Wright is just 24 years old. With her connection to God, her ability to say "no", and two MTV Movie Award nominations, Wright has an air of depth and maturity that surpasses her years. But she has the same concerns of any young person. For example, she says that Black Panther has helped her to achieve one very important thing: independence. She reveals:

"That's the really important thing Panther has done for me: I've been able to move out of my mum's!"

Letitia Wright is confident in her convictions and her passions. In today's day and age, we really can do anything, if we are willing to put our minds to, if we are properly grounded and have the ability to sort through what is really important versus what will not end up serving our best good.

Wright proves that the voice in your head is your guiding light, and the only person you should be aiming to please is yourself. A little help from a higher power can't hurt, either.

Featured image by Alasdair McLellan for 'W Magazine'

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