Read Lupita Nyong’o’s Powerful Tribute Post to Chadwick Boseman
"Chadwick has made the infinite his home."
It's been less than two weeks since Chadwick Boseman passed away from colon cancer on August 28th, and the loss has yet to sink in for many who cared for and loved him. His Black Panther costar Lupita Nyong'o found words to express her emotions during this time, and she posted a statement to her Instagram earlier today, September 8th.
Nyong'o played Nakia in the 2018 Marvel film, warrior and lover to Boseman's title character T'Challa. During the production of the film, the pair became great friends, and Nyong'o had the pleasure of getting to know Boseman for who he really was.
"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," she began in her statement.
"The news of his passing is a punch to my gut every morning," she continued. "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."
She continued, writing about Boseman's effect on her life during the time she knew him.
"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 wrote. "When we came together to make Black Panther, I remember being struck by his quiet, powerful presence. 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 also discussed his time on set and the power his presence alone had.
"And he put in the work with all of us. He showed up to every rehearsal and training and shoot day with his game face on," she wrote. "He was absorbent. Agile. He set the bar high by working with a generosity of spirit, creating an ego-free environment by sheer example, and he always had a warm gaze and a strong embrace to share. His large hands would descend on my shoulders and give them a squeeze that relieved me of the tensions I did not realize I was holding."
"Chadwick's hands were strong enough to carry the weight of the film and free enough to clasp mine when I needed it.
And though, we know now, he was clearly going through a lot more privately, in person, Nyong'o said he never complained.
"He was impeccable with his word. I never heard him complain—and there were definitely some things worth complaining about!" she wrote. "I think he understood the power of words and chose to manifest power through his word. He used his mouth to build, to edify, never to break. And he used it to tell some regrettably lame dad jokes."
"He accepted himself," she added. "And perhaps that's why he was capable of loving so many, so deeply."
But it wasn't just his words. Nyong'o paid tribute to how Boseman "loved, honored, and respected" his own body, taking "the risk to be alive, fully alive." She wrote that he did his own stunts, as well as practiced martial arts, danced, and drummed at parties.
"He was fueled by love, not fear. He moved quietly, deliberately and without imposing himself or his ideals on others," she wrote. "And yet he also made damn sure that his life meant something. He was unwavering about that. He cared so deeply about humanity, about Black people, about his people. He activated our pride. By pushing through and working with such high purpose in the films he chose to commit to, Chadwick has made the infinite his home."
As a result, she wrote, "we are all charged by his work" and "by his presence in our lives."
"His power lives on and with reverberate for generations to come," Nyong'o wrote. "He used his life force to tell meaningful stories. And now we tell his...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 sill do the same."
Nyong'o then sent her condolences to Boseman's family, friends, and his wife Simon, "from whom I heard this phrase articulated so resonantly: #TakeYourTimeButDontWasteYourTime," Nyong'o wrote.