Amid the buzz surrounding the release of the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever teaser trailer, Lupita Nyong’o is opening up about grieving the loss of the movie’s beloved “king.”
The 39-year-old actress starred alongside Boseman as T’Challa’s love interest Nakia in the film. Boseman passed away in August 2020 after a private battle with colon cancer. Nyong’o that the last few years of production have “been a doozy” for everybody without the actor’s presence on set.
“For us as a cast, having lost our king, Chadwick Boseman, that was a lot to process, and in many ways, we’re still processing it,” she told THR. “When you lose someone, I don’t know when you stop missing them. And of course, we felt it so much, making this film without him.”
While Boseman’s presence was deeply missed during filming, Nyong’o expressed gratitude for the story that the cast and director, Ryan Coogler, were able to execute on the screen.
“To make this film against all odds is a powerful statement unto itself, and I am very proud that we did it,” she shared.
“It was very therapeutic. It restored a sense of hope for me in making it, and I think we’ve expanded the world of Wakanda in ways that will blow people’s minds — not just Wakanda, but the Black Panther world. It’s gonna blow people’s minds, and I just cannot wait until it’s not a secret anymore.”
Nyong’o also told MTV News at the same event that despite the original Black Panther being physically absent while they filmed, his spirit remained and was honored even behind the scenes.
“Our call sheets didn’t have a #1. That was reserved for Chadwick. He was with us,” she said.
“This script… when you take your pain and make something beautiful out of it, it resonates,” she said, adding, “I hope that’s what people will continue to feel as they see a little bit more and finally get to see the movie.”