In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the actor — who’s currently on a promotional tour for the upcoming Black Panther sequel “Wakanda Forever” — shared that she learned of his tragic death through a text message from fellow Hollywood star, Viola Davis.
Boseman, who starred in the 2018 Marvel blockbuster as the iconic T’Challa/Black Panther, died in August 2020 at the age of 43 following a four-year battle with colon cancer.
Nyong’o told THR that although she was aware that Boseman was sick, she hadn’t known how serious it was — until she got a text from Davis.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Nyong’o said of receiving the message about Boseman’s death. “I was paralyzed. He had an aura. He was the leader, and we were all good with it.”
“He affected how I move in the world,” she added. “But that’s the thing about Chadwick. Chadwick wasn’t trying to have everyone be like him. What he inspired was you to be your best self.”
In 2020, Michael Greene, Boseman’s agent, told THR that the late actor’s mother, Carolyn Boseman, advised the star to keep his cancer diagnosis a secret.
She “always taught him not to have people fuss over him,” Greene said. “He also felt in this business that people trip out about things, and he was a very, very private person.”
The beloved late actor was also known for his noteworthy roles in “42,” “Get on Up,” “Marshall” and “21 Bridges.”
Four months after Boseman’s death, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige announced that the production company would not recast the role of T’Challa.
Instead of recasting Boseman’s titular character, the film’s writers, Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole, decided to include T’Challa’s death in the sequel’s plot.
During an interview with THR last year, director Coogler opened up about working on the long-awaited follow-up without Boseman.
“It’s difficult,” Coogler said at the time. ”You’ve got to keep going when you lose loved ones. I know Chad wouldn’t have wanted us to stop.
“He was somebody who was so about the collective. Black Panther, that was his movie. He was hired to play that role before anybody else was even thought of, before I was hired, before any of the actresses were hired. On that set, he was all about everybody else.”
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” is set to hit theaters Nov. 11.