Lupita Nyong’o swam with weights to train for ‘Black Panther’ sequel

  • Lupita Nyong’o shared a behind-the-scenes look at her training for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”
  • In a TikTok posted Saturday, the actress shared footage of herself swimming with barbells.
  • Nyong’o’s training clip comes after the film’s director admitted that he learned to swim for the film.

Lupita Nyong’o went all in to prepare for the extended underwater scenes in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”

On Saturday, the actor, who plays Nakia in the Marvel Studios film, shared a TikTok giving fans a glimpse of the physically demanding training she had to go through to prepare for filming.

The clip, which has been viewed more than 8.8 million times on Sunday, references the fictional underwater land introduced in the film: “Swimming to Talokan wasn’t as easy as it seemed!”

In the TikTok, set to the song “Con La Brisa” from the “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” soundtrack, Nyong’o is seen swimming underwater in a pool holding a barbell. Then she crawls across the bottom of the pool with two heavier-looking dumbbells in each hand.

Later in the TikTok, she is shown walking upright on the deepest part of the pool, holding dumbbells in both hands.

Nyong’o, 39, emerges from the water at the end of the clip and says, “I feel like a spiny lobster.”

Nyong’o’s TikTok captions XPT lifean extreme performance training company founded by Laird Hamilton and Gabby Reece, and Mark Robertsthe company’s assistant performance director, for her help training for the underwater scenes.

Roberts reposted the TikTok on his Instagram story, writing that it was “a pleasure and a joy” to work with the “Black Panther” actor.

Roberts and XPT Life did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Some crew members were not confident swimmers for the shoot

During a performance on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” in early November, N’yongo said that acting underwater is a “whole different level” than anything she had done before. What made things worse at first was that she wasn’t exactly a confident swimmer to begin with.

“Before I did the movie,” she said. “Ryan texted me, ‘On a scale of one to ten, how well can you swim?'” Her response: “Four, if I’m lucky. Because I’d swim like a frantic puppy.”

She said she knew she would have to take extreme measures to prepare for the film. That’s why she went looking XPT lifewhich she said helped improve her breathing capacity through underwater strength training: “It’s all about ignoring your panic button.”

Enter Lupita Nyong'o "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever."

Lupita Nyong’o in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”

Marvel Studios

However, Nyong’o was far from the only member of the film crew to improve her skills in the water before filming.

Basically her costar tenoch orchardwho plays Namor, and director Ryan Coogler didn’t even know how to swim for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”

said Huerto Weekly entertainment he just told Coogler that he hadn’t “drowned” before when asked about his swimming skills. Meanwhile, Coogler told Variety he had to “invent” how to swim to direct the film.

“When the camera is in the water, there are actors in the water, I have to be there too,” he said.

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