Lupita Nyong’o’s Nakia is back for Marvel‘s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and as she tells us, the character may have some shifted priorities now that some years have passed since we last saw her.
“As you can imagine, Nakia has lost the love of her life and has to contend with that loss and figure out what to do next,” she told Shadow and Act in a recent interview for the film. “She’s matured when we meet her and her priorities may have shifted, or sharpened, if you will. And yeah, that’s all I can say without spoiling it [laughs].”
Nyong'o also spoke about how the film deals with the loss of Chadwick Boseman in wide-ranging ways, from how the cast and crew showed up to work to how how T'Challa's death is written within the film.
“In the very nature of our film, we embrace the loss of Chadwick Boseman,” she explained. “Before he died, the film that Ryan Coogler was set to make centered around the T’Challa character. And then we lost him, and it was very surprising to a lot of us. And Ryan and Joe Robert Cole had to go back to the drawing board and figure out how to tell a story from Wakanda without him. What I think the beautiful thing that they did is lean into the truth of the loss that we had all experienced, as people who knew Chadwick as well as people who didn’t, [and] just a fan base that was contending with his loss.”
“Our story embraces the truth, you know, this is art definitely imitating life. And so we get to ask the question, ‘How do you move forward when you have experienced loss and tragic tragedy?’ And that’s a question that the world is asking right now. I mean, the experience of the pandemic is a global loss. That gives us a unique, shared global consciousness. And so this is a story that’s very timely, because it’s not only about losing Chadwick Boseman, but it’s about contending with death, which is something that we all deal with at some point or another, and especially in this time. This movie offers an exploration of that, and we witness the Wakandans put one foot in front of the other and witness them find hope, in a time of tragedy.”
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is in theaters now.