Lupita Nyong'o Says It's Hard to Think of Chadwick Boseman 'In the Past Tense' After His Death

Despite his passing, Nyong’o says she “feels good” about returning for the next Black Panther film.

Black Panther’s Lupita Nyong’o is confident the next movie will honor their late costar, Chadwick Boseman.

Appearing on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” on Tuesday, the actress — who played Nakia opposite Boseman’s T’Challa — was asked what she’ll miss most about her costar going forward. Boseman died in August 2020 following a secret battle with colon cancer. He was 43.

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“It’s still so hard for me to come to terms with his passing,” Nyong’o told DeGeneres. “His leadership. He led the movie with such compassion and just presence. When Chadwick came on set, he was present and he brought his entire being to that movie and he was just so humble as well, you know. That leadership will be missed.”

“He was my friend and so it’s hard to think of him in the past tense still,” she added. “But I do know for certain that he would want us to do this and feel that what [director] Ryan Coogler has planned very much honors him and his legacy.”

Because of that, she added, Lupita said she feels “good about going back.”

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Coogler recently opened up about moving forward with the franchise after Boseman’s death, telling THR he missed the actor “in every way that you could miss somebody, as a friend, as a collaborator.”

“It’s difficult,” he said of going full steam ahead on a sequel to the 2018 superhero film. “You’ve got to keep going when you lose loved ones. I know Chad wouldn’t have wanted us to stop. He was somebody who was so about the collective.”

“‘Black Panther,’ that was his movie. He was hired to play that role before anybody else was even thought of, before I was hired, before any of the actresses were hired,” Coogler continued. “On that set, he was all about everybody else. Even though he was going through what he was going through, he was checking in on them, making sure they were good. If we cut his coverage, he would stick around and read lines off camera [to help other actors with their performances]. So it would be harder for me to stop. Truthfully. I’d feel him yelling at me, like, ‘What are you doing?’ So you keep going.”

“Black Panther 2” is due out in July 2022.

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