- Lupita Nyong’o shared a behind-the-scenes clip of her training for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”
- In a TikTok posted on Saturday, the actress shared footage of herself swimming with dumbbells.
- Nyong’o training clip comes after the film’s director admitted he learned to swim for the movie.
Lupita Nyong’o went all in to prepare for the extensive underwater scenes in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”
On Saturday, the actor, who plays Nakia in the Marvel Studios film, shared a TikTok that allowed fans a glimpse into the physically demanding training she had to go through in order to prepare for filming.
The clip, which has more than 8.8 million views as of Sunday, made a reference to the fictional underwater nation introduced in the movie: “Swimming down to Talokan was not as easy as it looked!”
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 dumbbell. Then, she crawls across the bottom of the pool with two heavier-looking dumbbells in each hand.
Later in the TikTok, she’s shown walking upright on the deepest part of the pool, holding dumbbells in both hands.
Nyong’o, 39, surfaces from the water at the end of the clip and says: “I feel like a crawfish.”
Nyong’o’s TikTok caption credits XPT Life, an extreme performance training company founded by Laird Hamilton and Gabby Reece, and Mark Roberts, the company’s assistant performance director, for helping her train for the underwater scenes.
Roberts reposted the TikTok on his Instagram story and wrote 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 weren’t confident swimmers before the shoot
During an appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” in early November, N’yongo said that acting underwater is a “whole other level” than anything she’d previously done. What made matters initially worse, she wasn’t exactly a confident swimmer to start.
“Before I did the film,” she said. “Ryan sent me a text saying ‘On a scale of one to ten, how good can you swim?'” Her response: “Four, if I’m lucky. Because I would swim like a panicked puppy.”
She said that she knew she’d have to go to extreme measures to prepare for the film. That’s why she sought out XPT Life, which she said helped improve her breath capacity through underwater weight training: “It’s all about overriding your panic button.”
Nyong’o, however, was far from the only member of the film’s crew who needed to boost her skills in the water before filming.
In fact, her costar Tenoch Huerto, who plays Namor, and director Ryan Coogler didn’t even know how to swim before “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”
Huerto told Entertainment Weekly he just told Coogler he hadn’t “drowned before” when asked about his swimming skills. Meanwhile, Coogler told Variety he had to “figure out” how to swim to direct the movie.
“If the camera’s in the water, actors are in the water, I’ve got to be in there too,” he said.