One of the most interesting and ambiguous characters in the upcoming Black Panther film is CIA Agent Everett Ross, played by Martin Freeman.
Freeman has had plenty of experience playing a character in a new land, what with playing Dr. John Watson in Sherlock and, of course, playing Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit trilogy.
Freeman’s next adventure isn’t Middle Earth or the criminal underworld of London, but the mystical world of Wakanda.
After making his first appearance in Captain America: Civil War, Ross seems to be on the side of law and order, but being in Wakanda is a whole lot different from being in a CIA facility. In the new setting and circumstances of Black Panther, Ross’ role is still unclear.
In a set visit interview, Freeman tried to shed a little light on where Agent Ross fits in the Black Panther puzzle, without disclosing any spoilers, of course.
When asked about whether his character is a friend of foe to the people of Wakanda, Freeman said, “I think there’s enough ambiguity there for him to be either and both. I think the position that he’s in, like, he works for the CIA, he works for the world’s only superpower, so like, an undiscovered African country that has all these goodies in it could easily be, ‘Oh, good, that’s payday.’ Or that could be something that he wants to respect, I guess, and I’ll just have to lay the tips in there.”
In the Black Panther comics, Everett Ross is described as a bit of a ditzy character who is usually in over his head and a bit unprepared for the secrets of Wakandan culture that he is thrust into. Freeman assured, however, that his character in the film version will be able to hold his own.
“He has some authority. He’s good at his job. I think we’re going as realistic as you can be in a heightened universe. It would be slightly incredible for him not to be good at his job and not to be competent at this position that he’s at. He’s good at his job. He’s well traveled. He’s well versed in the ways of the world. Wakanda is gonna be a surprise to him. But in terms of meeting diplomats, kings, that’s not particularly fazing to him,” explained Freeman.