Amandla Stenberg has revealed that she turned down the opportunity to star in Black Panther because she is from a mixed race background, and wanted to give a darker-skinned actress a chance at landing the part.

Sitting down for a new interview with CBC Arts at the Toronto International Film Festival this week, the 19 year old Hunger Games star explained why she removed herself from the running for a part in one of the biggest movies of the year.

“One of the most challenging things for me to do was to walk away from Black Panther,” Stenberg explained. “I got really, really close and they were like, ‘do you want to continue fighting for this?’ And I was like, this isn’t right.”

Stenberg has consistently been vocal as an activist on social and political issues throughout her short career, so this level of thoughtfulness and conscientiousness is not unusual for her.

Amandla StenbergAmandla Stenberg turned down a role in 'Black Panther'

“These are all dark skin actors playing Africans and I feel like it would have just been off to see me as a bi-racial American with a Nigerian accent just pretending that I’m the same colour as everyone else in the movie,” she elaborated on her decision to bow out of Ryan Coogler’s celebrated film.

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This is an issue that has faced Stenberg in the recent past when she was cast as Starr Carter – the lead role in the film adaptation of Angie Thomas’s hit book The Hate U Give, about racial profiling and police brutality.

That decision sparked a lot of online controversy, with many criticising the decision to cast a bi-racial actress as the film’s 16 year old protaganist who sees her best friend being shot by the police.

“That was really challenging, to make that decision, but I have no regrets. I recognize 100 per cent that there are spaces that I should not take up and when I do take up a space it’s because I’ve thought really, really critically about it and I’ve consulted people I really trust and it feels right.”

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