*Warning: Lupita Nyong’o talks about a plotline in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever*
Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o (Us) was delighted when she found out she would get the opportunity to speak Spanish in the sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Without giving too much away about the scene, Nyong’o’s character, Nakia, questions people in Spanish to get more information about Namor (Tenoch Huerta), the leader of an underwater Mesoamerican civilization known as Talokan.
“I was so excited about it,” Nyong’o told Entertainment Weekly during a roundtable interview with the cast. “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…”
Nyong’o was born to Kenyan parents in Mexico City and identifies as Kenyan Mexican. She added: “Being born in Mexico and having that Mesoamerican culture represented, it’s something that’s very close to me” and said that the film “represents different sides of my heritage.” In the first Black Panther movie, Nyong’o spoke Korean in a scene set in Busan, South Korea.
During the roundtable, Wakanda Forever director Ryan Coogler revealed that late actor Chadwick Boseman was thrilled about adding more diversity to the sequel when he told him about his idea for the Mesoamerican narrative.
“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 American representation in the film. He got the biggest smile, like, ‘They’re never going to see this coming. It’s awesome.’”
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, starring Lupita Nyong’o, is in theaters now.