Speaking to The Root during a junket ahead of the film’s release, Nyong’o shared that while she can’t say on any sort of official authority, she believes Boseman would be proud of the way they all persevered to create the sequel despite the tragic loss.
“I think he would be proud. I think he would be very proud of how we saw fit to move forward,” she explained. “Chadwick was a very—he was very self-assured. He knew himself well and he gave of himself fully. But he didn’t impose himself on anyone. He was very happy to play his role and to allow other people to play theirs. So I feel like in the way we moved forward, I feel like he would be proud of how we kept at it. ‘Cause he certainly kept at it until his last breath.”
Considering the weight of losing Boseman before filming even began on the second film, one might wonder if the pressure to put out a project that either met or succeeded fan expectations would do a number on the actors. For the Queen of Katwe star, however, she assured us that that wasn’t the case, saying, “The loss of Chadwick Boseman diffused all the pressure because it was a real shift in how I approached life and how I approached my work. For me going into this film, I was just meditating on how blessed I was to have an opportunity to revisit Wakanda, something that he wasn’t gonna be able to do and something I was so sure he was gonna be a part of. And so, it just really sobered me and left me thinking: ‘you know what? The win is getting to do it. The win is getting to make it.’”
She continued, “And everything else will take care of itself. Just show up every day and do my best work, and leave the rest to the Universe. And that’s how I approached it and I loved every second of making that film.”
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hits theaters Friday, Nov. 11.