Marvel fantasy films require a huge amount of visual effects, but not everything can be made out of thin air. For Lupita Nyong’o, returning in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” as warrior spy Nakia required grueling underwater workouts — which she shared on TikTok Saturday.
“Swimming to Tolocan wasn’t as easy as it looks!” Nyong’o commented on the video, referring to the film’s underwater kingdom. Safely supervised by XPTLife and #MarkRobertsFitness.
The clip opens with Nyong’o immersing herself in a pool with the caption, “How I trained to swim in Wakanda forever.” While the footage runs just 54 seconds, the rigorous on-screen training undoubtedly feels longer in person — and requires weights.
Nyong’o begins by holding a large dumbbell to her chest while swimming underwater with just her right arm. She then flaps her way across the pool before moving to land with a dumbbell in each hand, helping her to hold her underwater as she holds the crawl on the floor.
With her swimmer’s hat and snorkeling goggles in place, Nyong’o also climbed some underwater stairs on a farmer’s walk with dumbbells at her sides. Then you do it again with the aforementioned bear crawl, climbing the steps horizontally – first down and then back.
After the farmer has walked around the bottom of the pond with her weights in her hand, Nyong’o lets it go at the bottom and springs back to the surface. Her weary look at the camera with the caption “I felt like a lobster” suggested this had been a rather intense day.
“Wakanda Forever” became the second biggest box office debut of 2022, but was previously held back when a botched motorcycle stunt sent Letitia Wright to the hospital. Meanwhile, Chadwick Boseman’s death almost saw director Ryan Kohler leave Hollywood entirely.
With a sprawling cast that includes Angela Bassett, Martin Freeman, and Tenoch Huerta, the film grossed $330 worldwide during its opening weekend, sparking controversy, discussions, and heartbreaking stories revealed throughout the film’s run.