Marvel’s fantastical 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 brutal underwater workouts — which she shared Saturday on TikTok.
“Swimming down to Talokan was not as easy as it looked!” Nyong’o captioned the video, with a reference to the film’s underwater kingdom. “Safely supervised by @XPTLife and #MarkRobertsFitness.”
The clip starts with Nyong’o submerging herself into a pool with an overlaid caption reading: “How I trained to Swim in Wakanda Forever.” While the footage spans only 54 seconds, the rigorous training on display undoubtedly felt longer in person — and required weights.
Nyong’o begins by holding a sizable dumbbell to her chest while swimming underwater with only her right arm. She then flutter kicks her way through the pool before moving to the ground with a dumbbell in each hand, which helps hold her underwater as she bear crawls along the floor.
With a swimmer’s cap and scuba goggles in place, Nyong’o also climbed up some underwater stairs in a farmer’s walk with the dumbbells at her sides. She then does so yet again with the aforementioned bear crawl, scaling the steps horizontally — first downward and then back up.
After farmer’s walking around the bottom of the pool with her weights in hand, Nyong’o leaves them at the bottom and springs back up to the surface. Her exhausted look at the camera with an overlaid caption reading, “I felt like a crawfish,” suggested this was a rather intensive day.
“Wakanda Forever” became the second biggest box office debut of 2022, but was previously delayed when a failed motorcycle stunt sent Letitia Wright to the hospital. Chadwick Boseman’s death, meanwhile, nearly saw director Ryan Cooler leave Hollywood, entirely.
With a sprawling cast that includes Angela Bassett, Martin Freeman and Tenoch Huerta, the film grossed $330 worldwide over the opening weekend, spurring contentious takes, discussions ― and heartbreaking stories that were revealed during the film’s rollout.