Lupita Nyong’o and her Black Panther co-stars got in superhero shape by working out to the sounds of an African drummer.
The 34-year-old actress plays Nakia in the new Marvel film, a superspy for the fictional African nation of Wakanda.
To pile on muscle and develop their sense of rhythm for the movie Lupita said she and her co-stars got into shape with a special workout to a beat set by an African drummer.
“The story was something that was really important to all of us, and we needed to get our bodies ready for it so our workouts were extreme!” She told Entertainment Tonight. “We did a special kind of workout. We would workout to live drumming by a great drummer. And he would sit there and drum as we worked out, so that brought in the African flavor, you know? And that was incredible, it totally changes your sense of movement, you know, the core of where you move from – it just shifts. And it was a lot of different martial arts.”
Black Panther stars Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa, the ruler of Wakanda whose alter-ego is the titular superhero, while Fruitvale Station actor Michael B. Jordan plays the villain, Wakandan exile Erik Killmonger.
Lupita said her co-stars also benefited from the unusual workout, adding, “We worked out together, so I saw some of the muscle being built around me.”
The Oscar-winning actress has another intriguing project in the works as she’s set to star in a heist movie alongside Rihanna based on social media users’ comments about a photograph of the pair.
Twitter users thought the picture, taken at New York Fashion Week in 2014, made Rihanna look like a con-artist who hustles men out of money, and cast Lupita as her technologically adept sidekick.
Selma filmmaker Ava Duvernay is set to direct, while Issa Rae will pen the script.
The 12 Years A Slave star said that like Black Panther, the new heist film has come about because audiences are demanding more diversity in film.
She explained, “Like, Black Panther is being embraced because people are really hungry for this kind of film, and that movie with me and Rihanna and Issa and Ava is another one of those examples where people want to see something like themselves, and something different something they’re not being offered yet, and I’m honored to be a part of that conversation.”
Black Panther debuts in February next year (18), while the social media inspired heist movie is yet to receive a release date.