During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Nakia-portrayer Lupita Nyong’o opened up about what it was like to make “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” without Chadwick Boseman. For Nyong’o, a huge part of moving forward was finding inspiration from Boseman’s widow, Simone Ledward Boseman.
Nyong’o said, “It was very hard to lose Chadwick and he was not to me what he was to Nakia. I couldn’t even imagine what it would be like to go on after losing the love of your life.” The actor then went on to explain how she witnessed the strength that Simone conveyed at Boseman’s memorial service, which shocked Nyong’o because she herself felt so broken. This, in turn, ended up inspiring her performance as Nakia. Nyong’o continued, “When I was getting ready [to play] Nakia, I thought about her a lot.”
Back in May of 2021, before the cast and crew had filmed the sequel, Nyong’o spoke to IndieWire about what she expected the experience to be like without Boseman, emphasizing that it felt right to go on without him. Nyong’o said, “It feels spiritually and emotionally correct to do this … [I look forward to] 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.”