- Lupita Nyong’o discussed speaking Spanish in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” with Entertainment Weekly.
- Nyong’o said the opportunity was “a gift” she never imagined would happen in “Black Panther.”
- “This film represents different sides of my heritage,” the Mexico-born actress said.
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” star Lupita Nyong’o spoke about the opportunity to speak Spanish for the highly-anticipated sequel in Entertainment Weekly’s “Around the Table” video series. Nyong’o, who was born to Kenyan parents in Mexico City, described the moment as “a gift.”
“It was just a straight gift. And I was very, very happy to do it … I’ve always wanted to work in Spanish and never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that that opportunity would come in ‘Black Panther,'” she said during the roundtable discussion with director Ryan Coogler and her “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” costars.
Nyong’o, who plays Wakandan spy Nakia in the films, also opened up about what the representation means to her and her dual heritage. “Being born in Mexico and having that Mesoamerican culture represented, it’s something that’s very close to me,” Nyong’o told EW.
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” features a new villain, Namor, portrayed by Mexican actor Tenoch Huerta. In the film, Namor rules over Talokan, a lost underwater civilization based on Mesoamerican lore, according to the Smithsonian Magazine. Coogler’s film adaptation drifts from Namor’s portrayal in the comics, where he rules over Atlantis. “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” follows in the first film’s footsteps by pulling inspiration from African and Indigenous mythology.
In the roundtable, Nyong’o went on to applaud her character’s ability to speak multiple languages. In the first film, Nakia speaks Korean in parts of the film that take place in Busan, South Korea.
“I always thought that was a very cool thing from the last movie that she spoke Korean, and I always thought that had never been seen before,” Nyong’o said. According to HuffPost, Korean fans applauded the actress for her impressive accent and pronunciation in the film.
In the Entertainment Weekly discussion, Coogler also touched on the sequel’s representation and how proud it made the late “Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman.
“I had spoken with Chad about that aspect of the script, and he was really excited,” Coogler said. “That was something he was fired up about. I remember we were at a restaurant in Los Feliz the first time we talked about possibly having Indigenous representation in the film. He got the biggest smile, like, ‘They’re never going to see this coming. It’s awesome.'”