Published 10:12 AM EDT Sep 8, 2020
Lupita Nyong’o is mourning the death of her friend and “Black Panther” co-star, Chadwick Boseman.
Nyong’o, 37, shared a photo of her and a laughing Boseman to Instagram Tuesday along with a powerful tribute to the late actor. This is Nyongo’s first time speaking about Boseman’s death publicly after the actor died Aug. 28 of colon cancer at age 43.
“I write these words from a place of hopelessness, to honor a man who had great hope. I am struggling to think and speak about my friend, Chadwick Boseman, in the past tense. It doesn’t make sense. The news of his passing is a punch to my gut every morning,” the Marvel actress wrote. “I am aware that we are all mortal, but you come across some people in life that possess a immortal energy, that seem like they have existed before, that are exactly where they are supposed to always be – here! … that seem ageless…. Chadwick was one of those people.”
Nyong’o, who played King T’Challa’s love interest Nakia, admitted that although she didn’t know Boseman for long, he greatly influenced her life.
“Chadwick was a man who made the most of his time, and somehow also managed to take his time. I didn’t know him for long, but he had a profound effect on me in the time that I did. When we came together to make Black Panther, I remember being struck by his quiet, powerful presence,” she wrote. “He had no airs about him, but there was a higher frequency that he seemed to operate from. You got the sense that he was fully present and also somehow fully aware of things in the distant future. As a result, I noticed that Chadwick never seemed rushed! He commanded his time with ease.”
Nyong’o remembered Boseman’s time on the set of “Black Panther,” noting that his presence alone created an “ego-free environment.”
“He showed up to every rehearsal and training and shoot day with his game face on. He was absorbent. Agile. He set the bar high by working with a generosity of spirit, creating an ego-free environment by sheer example, and he always had a warm gaze and a strong embrace to share,” the actress wrote. “His large hands would descend on my shoulders and give them a squeeze that relieved me of the tensions I did not realize I was holding. Chadwick’s hands were strong enough to carry the weight of the film and free enough to clasp mine when I needed it.”
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Nyong’o spoke to Boseman’s character, adding that she never heard the “Marshall” actor complain because he “understood the power of words and chose to manifest power through his word.” She also said he told “some regrettably lame dad jokes.”
The Oscar-winning actress continued noting that Boseman “took the risk to be alive, fully alive” and added how he did his own stunts and “used his body in every way he could.”
“So it seems that it was life that gave up on Chadwick long before Chadwick gave up on life,” Nyong’o wrote.
The actress said being around Boseman made her want to be a better person, a “less petty, more purposeful” person.
“He moved quietly, deliberately and without imposing himself or his ideas on others. And yet he also made damn sure that his life meant something,” Nyong’o wrote. “He cared so deeply about humanity, about Black people, about his people. He activated our pride. By pushing through and working with such high purpose in the films he chose to commit to, Chadwick has made the infinite his home.”
The “Us” actress ended her tribute by offering her condolences to the late actor’s family and friends and hoping people honored Boseman’s legacy by being purposeful with their time.
“Chadwick’s death is something that I can neither take in nor take in my stride right now,” Nyong’o wrote. “Perhaps with time… I’m going to take my time… and in his honor, I promise not to waste my time. I hope you will do the same.”
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