Actress Lupita Nyong’o honored her “Black Panther” co-star Chadwick Boseman following his untimely death with an emotional tribute. The actor died on Friday, Aug. 28, after a private four-year battle with colon cancer. Boseman was 43.
In a series of slides posted to Instagram on Sept. 8, the actress expressed her sorrow, writing, “I write these words from a place of hopelessness, to honor a man who had great hope.” She continued, “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.”
Nyong’o described Boseman as someone who possessed “an immortal energy, that seem like they have existed before, that are exactly where they are supposed to always be—here!… that seem ageless…”
The 37-year-old’s character in the Marvel Studios film was Nakia, a War Dog for the nation of Wakanda and former love of Boseman’s character King T’Challa. “I didn’t know him for long, but he had a profound effect on me in the time that I did,” the Oscar-winning actress wrote.
She continued, “When we came together to make Black Panther, I remember being struck by his quiet, powerful presence. 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… And he put in the work with all of us. 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.”
Nyongo’o went on to mention how Boseman “understood the power of words and chose to manifest power through his word,” in reference to him voicing his grievances during the filming of “BP.” “There were definitely some things worth complaining about,” she explained.
The actress reflected on past “regrettably lame dad jokes” and how “he used his body in every way he could” to perform his own stunts and master martial arts. Boseman was diagnosed with cancer in 2016 and still managed to appear in at least five films during his battle with the illness. The actor took on physically demanding roles in movies, including “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: End Game,” respectively.
Nyongo’o concluded her statement by writing, “Chadwick’s death is something that I can neither take in nor take in my stride right now. 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.” She added, “Me deepest condolences to his family, friends, and to his loving wife, Simone, from whom I heard this phrase articulated so resonantly: #TakeYourTimeButDontWasteYourTime.” Nyongo’o captioned her tribute, “For the beloved #chadwickBoseman. #TakeYourTimeButDontWasteYourTime.”
Boseman will be laid to rest in his hometown of Anderson, South Carolina, in a private, family-only service.