Lupita Nyong’o took to Instagram to honor her Black Panther co-star Chadwick Boseman, who died last month at the age of 43 after a private four-year battle with colon cancer.
“I write these words from a place of hopelessness to honor a man who had great hope,” the actress 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.”
“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,” she continued. “Chadwick was one of those people.”
“Chadwick was a man who made the most of his time and somehow also managed to take his time,” she added. “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.”
Nyong’o went on to describe how Boseman would arrive each day to rehearsals, training and shoots for Black Panther “with his game face on,” squeezing her shoulders to relieve tension she didn’t know she had. “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.
“Chadwick’s death is something I can neither take in nor take in my stride right now,” she concluded. “Perhaps with time…I’m going to take my time…and in his honor, I promise not to waste my time. I hope you will do the same.”
Nyong’o’s tribute follows other statements by the Black Panther cast in wake of the star’s death, including Michael B. Jordan, Danai Gurira, Angela Bassett and director Ryan Coogler. On August 30th, ABC celebrated Boseman’s life with the network television debut of the film.