One of the biggest hits of 2022, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, is now streaming on Disney+. The movie recently earned five Academy Award nominations, including a Best Actress honor for Angela Bassett, who became Marvel Studio’s first actor to be nominated.
The cast and co-writer/director Ryan Coogler had to grapple with the loss of Chadwick Boseman, who, unbeknownst to them, was already ill with the cancer that would eventually take his life in 2020 when they made the original blockbuster.
Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o‘s character, Nakia, was the love interest to Boseman’s T’Challa, but when we meet her in Wakanda Forever, she’s made peace with her loss — and one of her reasons is revealed in an after-credits scene.
The actress says she was raw and “wanted to express it” after losing Boseman, the way Letitia Wright‘s Shuri does on-screen as T’Challa’s grieving sister. But Lupita says she’s eternally grateful to Coogler for letting her learn from her character. “As much as I was frustrated with Ryan that we’re doing that with Nakia, actually playing her was very therapeutic for me, you know? Because I had to look beyond my frustrations with losing Chadwick and learn from her, learn from that wisdom that she seems to possess.”
She expresses, “In the first film, Ryan described her as T’Challa’s oasis, and that really, really resonated with me. And so when I was reading this script and thinking about where she is, I realized that what she was to T’Challa she now has the opportunity to offer Shuri.”
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