When the Candyman hybrid of sequel and reboot topped the domestic box office with a $22 million haul this past August, Nia DaCosta made history as the first black female director to ever helm a movie that opened at number one in the United States.
By that point, she was already deep into pre-production on blockbuster superhero sequel The Marvels, having won widespread acclaim for her feature debut Little Woods. All that, and she doesn’t even turn 32 until next month. It’s an incredibly rapid rise, and DaCosta overtook Ryan Coogler to become the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s youngest-ever director when she was hired for Carol Danvers’ second standalone effort.
However, in an interview with Inverse, DaCosta reiterated that her age has absolutely nothing to do with her talent or suitability for the job, even if she admits that her relative inexperience increases the pressure on her shoulders.
“I do, but nowhere near as much as I’m aware I should. To get through the day and to get through this movie I am just like, ‘I’m doing a cool job. It’s really great that I like my job a lot.’ Every so often, I’ll have a ‘Holy sh*t, I’m making a Marvel movie’ reminder to myself. How do I deal with the pressure? Something I’ve been exploring since the pandemic started is work/life balance.
This is my third movie in four and a half years, and that’s too much. I’m trying to put less significance on my worth through work. That helps me shoulder that pressure because I’m also thinking, ‘Am I a good friend? Am I a good sister? Am I living in the right city?’ I also try to come at it like, I’m a fan. I’m doing the best I can as a fan as well as a creator and storyteller.”
The saying ‘if you’re good enough then you’re old enough’ applies to every walk of life, whether that’s delivering the mail or calling the shots on a $200 million intergalactic epic from the industry’s premiere franchise. DaCosta is one of the industry’s brightest young talents, so The Marvels is sure to be in hands as safe as they are capable.