Lupita Nyong’o shared a moving tribute to her “Black Panther” co-star and friend Chadwick Boseman, who died on August 28 at the age of 43 from colon cancer.
Nyong’o posted a photo of her and Boseman laughing, with the caption “For the beloved Chadwick Boseman. #TakeYourTimeButDontWasteYourTime.” It’s the first time she’s spoken publicly about Boseman’s unexpected death.
“I write these words from a place of hopelessness, to honor a man who had great hope. 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,” she wrote. “I am aware that we are all mortal, but you come across some people in life that possess an immortal energy, that seem like they have existed before, that are exactly where they are supposed to always be — here! … that seem ageless … Chadwick was one of those people.”
Nyong’o remembered working with Boseman on 2018’s blockbuster “Black Panther,” describing that she was “struck by his quiet, powerful presence.” In the Marvel superhero adventure, Nyong’o portrayed Nakia, the love interest of Boseman’s T’Challa.
“Chadwick was a man who made the most of his time, and somehow also managed to take his time. I didn’t know him for long, but he had a profound effect on me in the time that I did,” she continued. “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.”
She praised the positive and “ego-free” environment he created on set, noting that Boseman did his own stunts and “used his body in every way he could.”
“Chadwick’s hands were strong enough to carry the weight of the film and free enough to clasp mine when I needed it,” she wrote.
Nyong’o said simply being around Boseman made her want to be “better, less petty and more purposeful.” She closed out her tribute by offering condolences to Boseman’s friends, family and his wife, Simone.
“We are all charged by his work as a result, by his presence in our lives,” she said. “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.”