Chadwick Boseman took the risk to be fully alive: ‘Black Panther’ co-star Lupita Nyong’o


Chadwick Boseman took the risk to be fully alive: ‘Black Panther’ co-star Lupita Nyong’o

In a soul-stirring tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman, his “Black Panther” co-star Lupita Nyong’o remembered the actor as someone who possessed “immortal energy”. Boseman died on August 28 following a four year-long secret battle with colon cancer. He was 43. He attained global stardom as T’Challa of fictitious African country Wakanda aka superhero Black Panther in the MCU films such as “Captain America: Civil War”, “Black Panther”, “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: Endgame”.

Nyong’o, one of Boseman’s colleagues who had not publicly reacted to his passing, shared a poignant note on Instagram as an attempt to “make sense” of the actor’s demise. “I am struggling to think and speak about my friend, Chadwick Boseman, in the past tense. It doesn’t make sense. The news is a punch to my gut every morning,” she begins.

“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,” she wrote on Tuesday.

The actor, who played Nakia, an undercover spy for Wakanda and T’Challa’s love interest in the 2018 blockbuster, said she was struck by Boseman’s “quiet powerful presence” when they started working on the film.

“Chadwick was a man who made the most of his time, and somehow also managed to take his time. 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 said Boseman, who led “Black Panther” as the first MCU film with a predominantly black cast, was capable enough to shoulder the movie that went on to break new ground both in pop culture and at award shows for celebrating black identity.

“Black Panther” was a major hit for Disney-owned Marvel Studios, grossing over USD 1.3 billion in worldwide gross and becoming the first superhero film to be nominated for the best picture at Oscars. The film took home three trophies for original score, costume design and production design.
“Chadwick’s hands were strong enough to carry the weight of the film and free enough to clasp mine when I needed it… I think he understood the power of words and chose to manifest power through his word. He used his mouth to build, to edify, never to break,” she added.


From doing his own stunts, drumming at his own parties to mastering martial arts, Nyong’o said Boseman “took the risk to be alive, fully alive”.
“So it seems that it was life that gave up on Chadwick long before Chadwick gave up on life.”

Before “Black Panther”, Boseman made a name for himself by playing iconic black historical figures like baseball star Jackie Robinson in “42” (2013), singer-songwriter James Brown in “Get on Up” (2014) and the first African-American Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in “Marshall” (2017).
Nyong’o said the late actor “activated” black pride.

“He cared so deeply about humanity, about Black people, about his people… By pushing through and working with such high purpose in the films he chose to commit to, Chadwick has made the infinite his home,” she said.

“His power lives on and will reverberate for generations to come,” she added.

Nyong’o, along with other “Black Panther” co-stars Michael B Jordan and Winston Duke, attended a private memorial for Boseman in Malibu.

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Sagar Biswas

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