Letitia Wright “Could Hear” Chadwick Boseman On “Black Panther 2″ Set

Letitia called her preparation process “definitely a spiritual one,” and shared that she leaned on her cast members for support. While appearing at this year’s D23 Expo to promote the film, Letitia remembered specific moments during production, though, in which Chadwick was the only person who could encourage her.

“I will always have moments on set of doubt, and I’ll be like, ‘Oh man, I don’t know if I can do this,'” she said. “I could just hear [Chadwick] be like, ‘Sister, you’re great. You got this. I’m proud of you.’ That really just kept me moving forward.”

Chadwick’s spiritual presence on set was felt just as much as his physical absence. While appearing as a guest on the Jemele Hill Is Unbothered podcast earlier this week, M’Baku actor Winston Duke said Chadwick’s death left a “gaping hole” in the Black Panther community.

“That is something that we have to wrestle with daily on set because there was a gaping hole when it came to his presence,” said Winston. “You felt it daily. You felt him not being there… He was a very gentle presence of strength, power, and scope. You knew he was there, but he didn’t have to say anything. He wasn’t walking around with a big ego… You don’t realize the impact when they’re there. But when they’re not, it’s apparent. You feel it intrinsically and that was the experience on set daily for a year.”

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Winston, who also attended this year’s D23 Expo alongside Letitia, previously noted that the sequel’s on-set dynamic was not as “playful” without Chadwick. In many ways, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is about the event of loss — how to sit in, move through, and live with grief. 

“I think this film has the fog of loss over it, and anamorphic lenses warp the image a little bit,” Ryan Coogler said to EW. “Sometimes when you go through profound loss, it can warp how you look at the world.” But Wakanda Forever is also about finding joy alongside those who are still here, something the cast and crew are able to portray from firsthand, real-world experience.

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