Lupita Nyong’o crawled and swam underwater holding dumbbells to train for ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’

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

Lupita Nyong’o participated in preparing for the extended underwater scenes in ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’.

On Saturday, the actress, who plays Nakia in the Marvel Studios movie, shared a TikTok that allowed fans a look at the physical workouts she had to go through in order to get ready for the shoot.

The clip, which has more than 8.8 million views as of Sunday, made a reference to the fictional underwater country introduced in the movie: “Swimming to Taloscan wasn’t as easy as it looks!”

On TikTok, Nyong’o is set to the song “Con La Brisa” from the soundtrack for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” as he swims underwater in a pool holding dumbbells. Next, you crawl across the bottom of the pool with two heavier dumbbells in each hand.

Later in a TikTok, she is shown walking upright in 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 lobster.”

Nyong’o’s TikTok caption credits XPT Life, a high-performance training company founded by Laird Hamilton and Gabby Reece, and Mark Roberts, the company’s assistant director of performance, for helping her train for the underwater scenes.

Roberts retweeted the TikTok to his Instagram story and wrote that it was “a pleasure and joy to work with the ‘Black Panther’ actor.”

Roberts and XBT Live did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Some crew members were not confident in their swimmers prior to filming

During her 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’s done before. What made things worse at first, she wasn’t a confident swimmer to begin with.

“Before I did the movie,” she said. “Ryan texted me saying ‘On a scale of one to ten, how good is your swimming?'” Her response: “Four, if I’m lucky. Because I’ll swim like a frightened puppy.”

She said she knew she would have to go to extreme measures to prepare for the film. That’s why she sought XPT Life, which she says has helped improve her breathing ability through underwater weight training: “It’s all about getting past your panic button.”

Lupita Nyong'o V

Lupita Nyong’o in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Marvel Studios



However, Nyong’o wasn’t the only member of the film crew who needed to brush up on her skills in the water before filming.

In fact, her actor 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 that he just told Coogler he had “never drowned before” when asked about his swimming skills. Meanwhile, Coogler told Variety that he had to “know” how to swim to direct the film.

He said, “If the camera is in the water, the actors are in the water, I should be there too.”


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