"I can't even begin to imagine what it will be like to step on set and not have him there," Lupita Nyong'o said of filming Black Panther 2 without Chadwick Boseman

By Alexia Fernández
April 30, 2021 03:16 PM
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Lupita Nyong'o is revealing how Black Panther 2 is set to honor Chadwick Boseman's life and legacy. 

The actress, 38, spoke about the upcoming Marvel film in an interview with Yahoo! Entertainment while promoting her new YouTube Original animated series Super Sema

"People will ask me, 'Are you excited to go back?' Excitement isn't the word," Nyong'o said. "I feel like I'm in a very pensive and meditative state when it comes to Black Panther 2. [Chadwick's] passing is still extremely raw for me. And I can't even begin to imagine what it will be like to step on set and not have him there." 

Black Panther 2 is set to begin production in Atlanta with director Ryan Coogler returning to helm the film. Coogler has also written the screenplay. 

Nyong'o said Coogler's script carefully addresses Boseman's absence after the actor died in August of last year at the age of 43 from a four-year struggle with colon cancer.

Lupita Nyong’o, Ryan Coogler, Chadwick Boseman
Credit: Jeff Vespa/VF14/WireImage; Inset: Robin L Marshall/Getty

"At the same time we have a leader in Ryan, who feels very much like we do, who feels the loss in a very, very real way as well," Nyong'o said. "And his idea, the way which he has reshaped the second movie is so respectful of the loss we've all experienced as a cast and as a world."

She continued, "So it feels spiritually and emotionally correct to do this. And hopefully, what I do look forward to, is getting back together and honoring what he started with us and holding his light through it. Because he left us a lot of light that we're still going to be bathing in. I know that for sure."

In March, Coogler, 34, revealed he was "still currently going through" his grief while working on the Black Panther 2 script.

"One thing that I've learned in my short or long time on this Earth is that it's very difficult to have perspective on something while you're going through it," Coogler said on the Jemele Hill Is Unbothered podcast. 

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"This is one of the more profound things that I've gone through in my life, having to be a part of keeping this project going without this particular person who is like the glue who held it together," Coogler said. 

He continued, "That said, you have a professional life, you've got a personal life. Personal life, I'm going to say that when you work in something that you love, those things blend, they come together. I'm trying to find a work-life balance. But I'm not there yet, so this is without a question the hardest thing I've had to do in my professional life."

"This one hurts and stings, but it's also incredibly motivating," Coogler said.

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"I'm incredibly sad to lose him but I'm also incredibly motivated that I got to spend time with him," he added. "You spend your life hearing about people like him. For this individual, who is an ancestor now, I was there for it. It's such an incredible privilege that fills you up as much as it knocks you out. So often as Black people, we have to pick up the pieces after loss."

Boseman's last performance can be seen in Netflix's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom for which he has been posthumously awarded the Golden Globe for best actor in a motion picture drama and the Critics' Choice Award for best actor.

He also received an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.