Lupita Nyong'o Says She's 'Struggling' with Chadwick Boseman's Death: 'He Had a Profound Effect on Me'

Lupita Nyong'o is honoring Chadwick Boseman with a heartbreaking tribute.

On Tuesday, the Oscar winner, 37, shared a powerful message on social media, mourning her friend and Black Panther costar Boseman, who died of colon cancer on Aug. 28 at age 43. Nyong'o remembered her Marvel scene partner as having an "immortal energy."

"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. The news of his passing is a punch to my gut every morning," she wrote. "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…. Chadwick was one of those people."

The actress recalled what it was like filming their 2018 hit superhero film together, describing his "fully present" nature on set.

"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," she wrote.

"He had no airs about him, but there was a higher frequency that he seemed to operate from," continued Nyong'o. "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."

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"And he put in the work with all of us. He showed up to every rehearsal and training and shoot day with his game face on. He was absorbent. Agile. 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," she said.

"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."

Continuing, Nyong'o said Boseman was "impeccable with his word" and mentioned that she "never heard him complain – and there were definitely some things worth complaining about!"

In announcing his death last month, the actor's team revealed that Boseman had privately battled colon cancer since 2016, and continued making movies "during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy."

"I think he understood the power of words and chose to manifest power through his word. He used his mouth to build, to edify, never to break. And he used it to tell some regrettably lame dad jokes," wrote Nyong'o. "He practiced not going against himself. He seemed to really 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 noted that Boseman "used his body in every way he could": "He did his own stunts, drummed at his own parties, danced many a night away, mastered marital arts… the list goes on."

"He loved, honored and respected that body, doing more with it than most," she wrote. "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."

The Us actress continued, sharing how when she was in Boseman's presence, she felt inspired to be "better, less petty, more purposeful." Nyong'o explained that he was "fueled by love, not fear," and set out to "make sure his life meant something."

"He cared so deeply about humanity, about Black people, about his people. He activated our pride," she wrote. "By pushing through and working with such high purpose in the films he chose to commit to, Chadwick has made the infinite his home."

She added: "… His power lives on and will reverberate for generations to come."

Nyong'o said Boseman's death is "something that I can neither take in nor take in my stride right now." She added that, in his honor, she promises "not to waste my time," encouraging fans to follow suit.

"My deepest condolences to his family, friends and to his loving wife, Simone, from whom I heard this phrase articulated so resonantly: #TakeYourTimeButDontWasteYourTime," concluded Nyong'o.

Black Panther also starred Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, and more, who also shared touching tributes in their late costar's memory. A statement shared on Boseman's social media channels said that his role as King T'Challa in Black Panther was "the honor of his career."

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