In an October 2022 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Lupita Nyong’o discussed all things “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” — including the loss of Chadwick Boseman. Nyong’o had nothing but praise for the late actor, including his ability to act as a leader to the cast and crew while filming. Nyong’o began, “He had an aura. He was the leader, and we were all good with it.” One thing about his leadership skills that she respected about him, even if it irked her at times, was his ability to set boundaries for himself — no matter how much she pushed him.
Nyong’o said, “There were moments when Chadwick said no to me, and I was not happy with him. I fought tooth and nail to change his mind, and he would ever so quietly be like, ‘I know, but no,’ with love.” She gave an example of when she wanted Boseman to travel with her to South Africa to promote the film, stating that she thought it would be meaningful for Boseman, an African American playing an African king. Still, Boseman refused to agree to go and, instead, sent her with a message to relay from him. Now she understands it was likely medical reasons that stopped him from going, as Boseman kept his illness a secret from the cast.
Even though his boundaries caused them to disagree, Nyong’o respected — and still respects — Boseman. Nyong’o continued, “He affected how I move in the world,” Nyong’o says. “But that’s the thing about Chadwick. Chadwick wasn’t trying to have everyone be like him. What he inspired was you to be your best self.”