Lupita Nyong’o The Black Panther star reveals how she stays strong for the big screen.
I had always been interested in being in an action film. Although, I had no idea that it would be this much work, as it does take a lot of physical endurance and a commitment to your body.
Black Panther was intense, but it was also such a rewarding challenge. With Nakia in Black Panther she’s fighting multiple people at a time, and because of that, I had three stunt men that helped me to prep.
Then, closer to filming the fight sequences, we had this big day when the entire stunt team came together to figure out the flow of the action as Ryan Coogler (Black Panther director) wanted to do a major action set piece in one shot. We had to figure out the flow and know what the cue was. It was incredibly technical and an extremely challenging physical feat… I absolutely loved it!
With Black Panther it was about getting up to speed with the physical challenge and to boost up my stamina for the shoot.
I went into a six-week boot camp for the role and that was so valuable. It really focused my mind and my body on what was at hand.
Every day you had to show up, concentrate and be productive in that training time. Nakia is a street fighter, she gets busy by any means necessary. She uses ring blades, spears, her legs, fists – anything! So, the stunt training was intense to say the least.
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But all of that effort brought me closer to Nakia’s warrior spirit. She’s someone that has traveled the world, so her fighting style has been informed by the world.
She’s not as graceful with her fighting as some of the other Wakanda and Marvel characters, so we went for the more street mode of fighting.
I trained in Judo, Jiu-Jitsu, Filipino martial arts, Capoeira, Silat, Muay Thai, all of that was thrown in there. I also bulked up a little bit.
I am big into well-being and health, having a healthy mind-body relationship. I love fresh, natural foods, fresh fruit and veg,
and salads. I make sure I train a good few times a week. Working out for me is mostly interval training, cardio and boxing.
I drink a lot of water and I stretch a lot, which again focuses on flexibility and fluidity. It’s enriching.