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Wakanda Forever: People now know me everywhere in the world – Lupita Nyong’o

Lupita Amondi Nyong’o is a Kenyan-Mexican actress who played Nakia in Black Panther movies. In this interview with Naijatimes, she sheds more light on reprising and preparing for her roles, dealing with loss and grief in the wake of Chadwick Boseman‘s (T’Challa) sad passing, and what it was like shooting the film amidst COVID-19 pandemic.

How do you feel being part of this master piece; Black Panther: Wakanda Forever?

Where ever I go in the world, people might not know any other of my movies, but they know Black Panther. This is a proof of how far this film has gone, it’s reach and recognition. It gives me a lot of pride and also humbles me. It also comes with great responsibility. 

What extra works did you put in to deliver your role perfectly?

Immediately, I got to know we are doing this again, I had to start up with work outs. Cut down on the COVID lockdown weight, also known as Carbs. I also had to learn how to swim with confidence. I had to learn how to take tasks under water, like carrying heavy weights and increasing my breath capacity under water. When it comes to acting, I haven’t done anything like that under water and it takes a lot of focus to be able to execute this project. 

How did the death of Chadwick Boseman affect your emotions on set?

It was devastating. Losing Chadwick Boseman was very devastating and extremely confusing.  I went through a lot of trauma. As you do when someone close to you dies, especially someone so young, vibrant, so talented and so present.  I am eternally grateful to Ryan for making the second film about him, in such a way that everyone could bid him farewell and deal with the fact that we lost him.

That was what the characters was about, grief; all the stages and all the messages. It was very challenging. The moment I knew what the story was all about, I was ready. It meant I could come to work with my grief and try to make beauty out of it.

What would you remember Chadwick Boseman for?

I think this film is a massive tribute to him. This is his legacy. It keeps the memory of him alive. I know that all of us who knew him were positively impacted by him. We will make sure his contributions to our lives and the impact he made will not be forgotten.

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