Lupita Nyong’o is opening up about her grief over the loss of the film’s beloved “king” amid the buzz surrounding the release of the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever teaser trailer.
The Oscar winner spoke with The Hollywood Reporter at Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday about the process of filming the sequel following the death of Chadwick Boseman.
In the film, the 39-year-old actress co-starred with Boseman as T’Challa’s love interest Nakia. Boseman died in August 2020, following a private battle with colon cancer. Without Nyong’o’s presence on set, the last few years of production have “been a doozy” for everyone.
“Having lost our king, Chadwick Boseman, that was a lot for us as a cast to process, and in many ways, we’re still processing it,” she told THR. “I’m not sure when you stop missing someone when you lose them.” And, of course, we felt it tremendously while making this film without him.”
While the absence of Boseman was felt during filming, Nyong’o expressed gratitude for the story that the cast and director, Ryan Coogler, were able to tell on the big screen.
“Making this film against all odds is a powerful statement in and of itself, and I am very proud of what we accomplished,” she said.
“It was extremely therapeutic.” It gave me hope in making it, and I believe we’ve expanded the world of Wakanda in ways that will blow people’s minds — not just Wakanda, but the Black Panther world as well. It’s going to blow people’s minds, and I can’t wait until it’s no longer a secret.”
At the same event, Nyong’o told MTV News that while the original Black Panther was physically absent during filming, 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 turn it into something beautiful, it resonates,” she said, adding, “I hope that’s what people continue to feel as they see a little bit more and finally get to see the movie.”