Lupita Nyong'o Wrote a Heartbreaking Tribute to Black Panther Co-Star Chadwick Boseman

“The news of his passing is a punch to my gut every morning.”

Lupita Nyong’o is paying tribute to her “Black Panther” co-star, Chadwick Boseman, who died on August 28 at the age of 43 following a private four-year battle with colon cancer.

On Tuesday, the actress honored Boseman on social media, calling his passing “a punch to [her] gut every morning.” Nyong’o, who played Nakia, the love interest to Boseman’s T’Challa in “Black Panther,” opened up about her working with the late actor, whom she described as “absorbent” “powerful,” “ageless” and a person who possessed a “generosity of spirit.”

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The Oscar winner posted a candid photo of herself and Boseman, alongside a lengthy statement.

“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,” Nyong’o began. “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 a 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.”

While Nyong’o didn’t know Boseman for long, she said he had a “profound effect” on her.

“Chadwick was a man who made the most of his time, and somehow also managed to take his time,” she wrote. “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.”

The “Us” star said Boseman “put in the work” and “showed up to every rehearsal with his game face on.”

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“He was absorbent. Agile,” Nyong’o explained. “He 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 a strong embrace to share. His large hands would descend on my shoulders and give them a squeeze that relieved me of the tensions I did not realize I was holding. Chadwick’s hands were strong enough to carry the weight of the film and free enough to clasp mine when I needed it.”

“He was impeccable with his word. I never heard him complain — and there were definitely some things worth complaining about! I think he understood the power of words and chose to manifest power through his word,” she continued. “He used his mouth to build, to edify, never to break. And he used it to tell some regrettably lame bad jokes. He practiced not going against himself. He really seemed to love himself; he expressed who he really was, even when it meant he didn’t smile when you thought he should. He accepted himself. And perhaps that’s why he was capable of loving so many, so deeply.”

Nyong’o went on to praise Boseman’s physicality, writing that he “used his body in every way he could,” from performing his own stunts to drumming and dancing at parties.

“He loved, honored and respected that body, doing more with it than most. In so doing, he took the risk to be alive, fully alive. So it seems that it was life that gave up on Chadwick long before Chadwick gave up on life.”

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The “12 Years a Slave” actress continued, “When I was around Chadwick, I wanted to be better, less petty, more purposeful…”

“He was fueled by love, not fear. He moved quietly, deliberately and without imposing himself or his ideals on others,” she wrote. “And yet he also made damn sure that his life meant something. He was unwavering about that. He cared so deeply about humanity, about Black people, about his people. He activated our pride. By pushing through and working with such high purpose in the films he chose to commit to, Chadwick has made the infinite his home.”

“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,” she wrote, before concluding. “My deepest condolences to his family, friends and to his loving wife, Simone, from whom I heard this phrase articulated so resonantly: #TakeYourTimeButDontWasteYourTime.”

On August 28, Boseman’s death was confirmed via a statement on his social media pages.

“It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman,” began the statement.⁣ “Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, and battled with it these last 4 years as it progressed to stage IV.”

“A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much,” it continued. “From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several more, all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy.”

“It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther. ⁣He died in his home, with his wife and family by his side. The family thanks you for your love and prayers, and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time.”

Click here to see how Hollywood and beyond paid tribute to Boseman, including more of his “Black Panther” co-stars.

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