Lupita Nyong'o Writes Heartbreaking Tribute To Chadwick Boseman

by Cassandra Stone
Lupita Nyong'o and Chadwick Boseman
Sarah Morris/Getty and Lupita Nyong'o/Instagram

It’s the first time Lupita Nyong’o has spoken publicly about her friend and co-star’s death

Lupita Nyong’o is opening up about the death of her friend and Black Panther co-star, Chadwick Boseman, for the first time. The Oscar-winning actress shared a beautiful photo of the two of them on her Instagram account this morning, in addition to even more beautiful words about Boseman and their time working together.

Chadwick Boseman died at age 43 on August 29 from a four-year battle with colon cancer. Nyong’o remembers her friend for who he truly was as a person and an actor, and they’re words worth reading, repeating, and trying to live by. Many Black Panther co-stars have spoken moving words about Boseman, but Nyong’o’s tribute will leave you speechless.


“I write these words from a place of hopelessness, to honor a man who had great hope,” she wrote. “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 goes on to explain why this loss is so keenly felt — by her, by all who knew Boseman, and by anyone who was a fan of his brilliant work. “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 shared a few important and intimate moments she had with her friend on the set of Black Panther, the 2018 movie phenomenon that went on the gross more than a billion dollars worldwide.

“Chadwick was a man who made the most of his time, and somehow also managed to take his time,” she wrote. “I didn’t know him for long, but he had a profound effect on me in the time that I did. 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 complimented Boseman for being able to create an “ego-free environment” on set, and for his ability to bring calm and peace to those he was working with.”Chadwick’s hands were strong enough to carry the weight of the film and free enough to clasp mine when I needed it,” she said.

She shares little snippets of who he was as a person: someone who told “lame dad jokes,” and accepted himself and who he was fully, and an actor who did his own stunts and loved to dance. She describes his spirit and personality as infectious.

“When I was around Chadwick, I wanted to be better, less petty, more purposeful,” she wrote. “He was fueled by love, not fear.” She wrote that in his honor, she promises to “not waste my time” and urged all of Boseman’s fans and friends to do the same, using the hashtag #TakeYourTimeButDontWasteYourTime.

“We are all charged by his work as a result, by his presence in our lives,” she said.