The Disney Plus release of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever on Wednesday marked the MCU’s newest mech hero. Ironheart, aka MIT student and genius creator Riri Williams, replicated Iron Man’s iconic armour.
Actor Dominique Thorne, whose resume includes Oscar nominees ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ and ‘Judas’ and the ‘Black Messiah’, will play Riri on screen (the latter was produced by Black Panther writer and director Ryan Coogler). She originally auditioned for the part of Shuri, but Marvel ultimately cast her in Riri without even having her re-audition.
It’s expected that Riri will appear in the upcoming film Armor Wars and fight with the other Avengers in the next Marvel Netflix series, Avengers: Secret Wars. Her own series, Ironheart, will premiere on Disney Plus this fall.
The actor collaborated with Puffs, a manufacturer of face tissues, to bring some heroic spirit to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. The MCU patients she surprised received unique gifts, such as Puffs Plus Lotion tissue boxes, posters, and bragging rights.
Puffs’ Power Pals
Thorn talked of her experience at the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta with great enthusiasm. Her favourite part, as she mentioned in one of the interviews, was ‘Puffs Power Pals’ in which the hospital selects patients to play the role of superheroes.
They get a large, high-quality poster of themselves dressed in full superhero regalia (mask, cape, and everything). The actor went on to reminisce how playing the role of a superhero allowed her to remind them of the children of their own inner superpowers give them the resolve to persevere through their struggles.
”Ultimately,” the actor said, ”it was meant to be a day of spreading happiness, and I believe that goal was met.”
Ironheart and The Kids
In Thorn’s words, ”I found it both endearing and hilarious.”
The Black Panther star found the kids at the hospital much too ”quiet and reserved.” The actor’s way of breaking the ice involved making small conversation, asking them their names, ages, and whether or not they have a favourite superhero.
In response, some of them emphatically said that they were not superhero enthusiasts. True, others weren’t.
There was a wide range of ages and levels of excitement among the children there.
It was lovely to watch everyone lighten up and laugh by the time the day was over.
And some of the kids and I engaged in a famous tickling war. I believe there was laughter and diverted attention from the stresses of treatment and their other difficulties.