Meagan Good Dishes on 'Shazam! Fury of the Gods,' Importance of Playing Black Female Superhero (Exclusive)
DC Universe fanatics have been awaiting the return of Shazam!. The highly anticipated sequel's release date has been pushed back several times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But alas, fans will get an early Christmas gift as Shazam! Fury of the Gods will be released in theaters on Dec. 16. One of the most beloved characters in the movie is Darla Dudley, who Harlem star Meagan Good portrays.
Darla is Billy Batson's youngest foster sibling at his new home. Like the rest of her foster siblings, she gains the powers of Shazam. She also has several superpowers, including strength, the ability to fly and fight, and superhuman speed. It's one of the characters most dear to Good's heart in her career thus far because as a young child, she didn't see many representations of people who looked like her on-screen.
"Growing up, I didn't have a ton of examples [and] I remember right when Jada Pinkett, and Nia Long, and Halle Berry, and Angela Bassett – when all these women were first coming onto the scene and I was a child and it was like, "Wow, somebody who looks like me." And then it suddenly made me go, 'Well I could be an actress' and then it suddenly made me go, 'Well, I could be strong like that, or I could be vulnerable like that, or I could do this or I could do that,'" she told PopCulture.com exclusively in a recent interview.
"It really shaped my world and how I saw myself and what I was capable of," she continued. "And it really put in my mind that no matter where I grow up, no matter what certain people tried to tell me – rather it's neighbors or teachers that don't believe in me, or didn't support me – because I could see them, I knew what was available to me. And I could see my worth just in seeing them."
More specifically, Good says superheroes of color, specifically female superhero characters of color, were practically non-existent. Now, she gets to be that representation for others and live out a dream she didn't think would be possible.
"I'm excited about Shazam because a big thing for me was like, I want little girls to know that the little Black girls, to see themselves in superheroes," she added. "That's something in terms of Black female superheroes that we haven't had until the last couple years outside of Eartha Kitt playing Catwoman, you know? But other than that, we hadn't really had any consistent superhero to the point of where it was more of a norm and less of a big deal when you see it."
Good wants little girls around the world to realized their superhero powers in Darla. "She's a little girl who is transformed into a woman's body, but she's still a little girl. So every little girl can really see themselves in her. And she's got like a good little heart, and she's a fun character to play and we're definitely a lot more in the movie this time," she said with a smile.