“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 wrote, adding that the news of his death is a “punch to my gut every morning.”
Boseman died last month at the age of 43, four years after being diagnosed with colon cancer.
Nyong’o described Boseman as a person who possessed “immortal energy” and seemed “ageless.” She continued:
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. 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... And he put in the work with all of us.
She said Boseman always showed up to shoots with his “game face on” and was someone who “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 warm strong embrace to share.”
Nyong’o also described his “large hands” and how they were “strong enough to carry the weight of the film and free enough to clasp mine when I needed it.”
She stressed how much Boseman’s work “charged” viewers, fans and friends, saying his “power lives on and will reverberate for generations to come.”
“He used his life force to tell meaningful stories. And now we tell his,” she concluded, adding that she will not waste her time.
News of Boseman’s death sent shockwaves throughout Hollywood, as the actor had not been public about his diagnosis or treatment. Nyong’o’s words came on the heels of other actors and members of the “Black Panther” family expressing their loss.
Actor Letitia Wright shared a moving Instagram video featuring a poem dedicated “to my brother” Boseman, while Michael B. Jordan wrote that he wished he and Boseman had “more time.” Director Ryan Coogler also wrote a tribute calling his late friend “an epic firework display.”
“I will tell stories about being there for some of the brilliant sparks till the end of my days,” he wrote.