Hot on the heels of playing Maz Kanata in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Lupita Nyongo is lending her voice to the animated adventure The Jungle Book. In the Jon Favreau directed film, Nyongo voices the character of Raksha, and we sat down with her and Giancarlo Esposito, who plays Akela, to talk about bringing her character to life.
“She is grand,” said Nyong’o, about the mother wolf who raises Mowgli as one of her own. “To see her hair move and the way she interacts with Mowgli, I mean the technology in this is just insane, she’s insanely beautiful, and she feels real and she’s cuddly.”
And while audiences will love Raksha they also won’t be able to get enough of Neel Sethi, the 10 year-old New York native, who plays Mowgli in the film. Check out what he had to say about the film and working with director Jon Favreau.
The Jungle Book is in theaters April 15.
Exclusive: The Bullet Scars That Will Forever Haunt Sheryl Lee Ralph’s Son, Etienne Maurice
Sheryl Lee Ralph shared a graphic photo on Instagram earlier this week of her son, Etienne Maurice, laying in a hospital bed bandaged up from bullet wounds. The purpose of the image was to be yet another voice calling to end gun violence.
On Wednesday, students across the country walked out of class to protest against gun violence, something that hit home for Ralph four years ago. “This mother wants #gunreform now! #guncontrol now,” she wrote.
It was during a night out in West Philadelphia that Ralph’s then 22-year-old child was robbed at gunpoint and shot three times; twice in the leg and one which grazed his forehead.
So as Ralph joined Wednesday’s national conversation about gun laws, HipHollywood talked exclusively with Etienne who shared exactly what went down the night a gun could have taken his life for good.
“I was shot four years ago, November 9 … I was black out drunk. The next thing I know I remember I woke up in the hospital, doctor said I had two bullet holes in my leg and a grazed bullet hole above my eyebrow.”
Maurice, who was robbed for his iPhone and his wallet, went on to tell us that this is something that he is reminded of constantly. “Having been shot is something that I carry with me every day. I still have numbness at the bottom of my leg from the nerve damage.”
And while he will always remember how he felt knowing his life almost ended, Etienne had a hard time fathoming how his famous mother felt. “We had the conversation about it last week and she said she peed on herself,” he told us.
For Maurice, he’s proud to see young children use their voices to make change. “There’s so many angles where we can talk about gun violence and how it’s effecting different communities,” he said. “Gun reform needs to take place now.”
Since that night, he hasn’t picked up a drink and has been now sober for four years. As for the suspects, a father-son duo, they are behind bars for attempted man slaughter.
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