Only Lupita Nyong’o could shoot a Vogue cover while in tree pose on a floating surfboard. Ahead of the Black Panther February 2018 release, Nyong’o opens up about her journey to becoming a superhero on and off screen. In the highly-anticipated Marvel film, she plays Nakia, bodyguard and paramour of the African kingdom’s leader. The couple lives in Wakanda, a fictional African country that thwarted colonialism and grew to become technologically advanced.
Nyong’o shares what it means to play the character:
For me, as an African who lives outside Africa and wrestles with that dichotomy of tradition and modernity, this is almost healing. We’ve occupied such a servile place in film and TV. It’s nice to see that flipped. The little Kenyan child in me leaped for joy because it’s such an affirmation.
The role not only required her to be poised, which is basically her first nature, but also to be agile and strong for combat sequences. She spent up to four hours a day for six weeks physically prepping alongside her cast mates. To add a bit of fun to her regimen, Lupita has also picked up pole dancing which is one of her many new hobbies she does to keep her life interesting.
Read the full interview at Vogue.