Lupita Nyong’o Honors Chadwick Boseman on the Three-Year Anniversary of His Death: ‘It Took Months to Trust the Feeling of Joy Again’

“Three years ago today, I experienced a singular pain at the news of Chadwick Boseman’s death,” Lupita Nyong’o wrote in a new tribute to her late “Black Panther” co-star. Boseman passed away Aug. 28, 2020 from colon cancer, a diagnosis he never discussed publicly. Nyong’o added that “the confusion” over Boseman’s death “was so profound that it took months to trust the feeling of joy again.”

“This is a photo I took on film at the airport as we arrived in South Korea in 2018,” the Oscar-winning actor wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of Boseman. “We had just learned to do the baby heart with our fingers. Here Chadwick was adding his suave flare. We spent a glorious 72 hours there, and the memory fills me with so much joy.”

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“Death is hard to understand, maybe even harder to accept,” she wrote. “But the love generated from the life he lived will fuel every anniversary marking his absence. Chadwick may no longer be in our photos, but he will always be in our hearts.”

Boseman and Nyong’o starred together in Marvel’s “Black Panther,” which won them the Screen Actors Guild award for outstanding ensemble. The film grossed over $1 billion worldwide and became the first Marvel movie to earn an Oscar nomination for best picture. Boseman died before filming on “Black Panther 2” began, leading the script to be rewritten to account for his absence.

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” opened in theaters in November 2022 with Nyong’o returning. She said in 2021 that Boseman’s death was “still extremely raw” for her while she was filming the “Black Panther” sequel.

“But at the same time we have a leader in [writer-director] Ryan [Coogler], who feels very much like we do, who feels the loss in a very, very real way as well,” she added at the time. “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. 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.”

Both “Black Panther” films are available to stream on Disney+.

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