Lupita Nyong’o marks Chadwick Boseman’s 3-year memorial: ‘Death is hard to understand’

Lupita Nyong'o, left, and Chadwick Boseman look at each other while holding their SAG Awards in 2019
Lupita Nyong’o paid tribute to her late “Black Panther” co-star Chadwick Boseman, seen here at the 2019 SAG Awards, on the three-year anniversary of his death.
(Jordan Strauss / Invision/Associated Press)
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Lupita Nyong’o says she didn’t trust the feeling of joy for months after her “Black Panther” co-star Chadwick Boseman died.

Marking the three-year anniversary of Boseman’s passing, the Oscar winner reflected on the “singular pain” she felt upon learning of his tragic death.

‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ star Lupita Nyong’o supported Marvel’s decision not to recast the superhero after Chadwick Boseman died. But she won’t reveal if she’s the new superhero.

Oct. 19, 2022

“The confusion was so profound that it took months to trust the feeling of joy again,” she wrote Monday on Instagram, sharing a sentimental photo of the “42” and “Get On Up” star.


“This is a photo I took on film at the airport as we arrived in South Korea in 2018. 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,” she added.

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

“Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler paid tribute to Chadwick Boseman in a lengthy statement Sunday morning.

Aug. 30, 2020

The magnetic actor who brought the trailblazing Marvel superhero to the big screen died in August 2020 after a private, four-year battle with colon cancer.

Boseman was first diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer in 2016, the same year he made his debut as comics superhero King T’Challa, a.k.a. Black Panther, in “Captain America: Civil War.” He died at age 43 when the “Black Panther” sequel, “Wakanda Forever,” was still in its early stages, necessitating new drafts of the project. (The Oscar-nominated actor also died without a will.)

Nyong’o, who played the Wakandan spy Nakia and T’Challah’s love interest in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, said that she supported Marvel’s decision not to recast the titular superhero after Boseman’s unexpected death.

Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett, Danai Gurira and Lupita Nyong’o return to Wakanda without the late Chadwick Boseman in Ryan Coogler’s stirring follow-up to “Black Panther.”

Nov. 8, 2022

“Losing your centerpiece, everything changed,” she said in a Hollywood Reporter interview published in October 2022. “When you say the world rotated around him, it revolved around him, it did.


“That is not the death of the Black Panther, that’s the whole point,” Nyong’o said. “It’s laying to rest [T’Challa] and allowing for real life to inform the story of the movies. I know that there are all sorts of reasons why people want him to be recast, but I don’t have the patience. I don’t have the presence of mind, or I don’t have the objectivity to argue with that. I don’t. I’m very biased.”

Nyongo’s Nakia made a pivotal appearance in a post-credits scene of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” that all but ensured that T’Challa‘s legacy would live on in the billion-dollar franchise.

Boseman’s widow, Taylor Simone Ledward, also marked Aug. 28 with a post on Instagram. She captioned it with an excerpt from a notebook and accompanied it with a photo and video of Boseman and an image showing a wrist tattoo of a light bulb with a halo over it.

“when the angels came and sought him / they found him by my side / there where his feet had brought him / i was his, and he was mine / loving you into the ether, beyond the beyond,” she wrote. “forever my guiding light”