In superhero flicks — with action as its genre — actors have to often look the part they are playing to come across as relatable and invincible. If an actor is a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) they have to work doubly hard to convince fans they are indeed as indomitable as they appear on screen; that requires a lot of preparation months before filming.
In the case of Oscar-winning actor Lupita Nyong’o — who is anyway quite enthusiastic about her fitness routine — there was a special challenge: shooting underwater scenes in the recently-released film ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever‘.
The Kenyan-Mexican actor, who plays the role of Wakandan spy ‘Nakia’ in the two Black Panther films, took to Instagram to document the process of training that involved a few intense weight-training and breathwork sessions under water.
If you are wondering how training under water is even possible, the 39-year-old demonstrated in a video — whose audio was set to one of the tracks from the film, ‘Con La Brisa‘ by Foudeqush and Ludwig Göransson — how she swam with a dumbbell in her hand.
Dressed in a blue monokini and a swimming cap, Nyong’o started to army-crawl and walk under water holding two dumbbells in each of her hands. It was an impressive display of focus and controlled breathing.
“How I trained to swim in Wakanda Forever,” she wrote at the beginning of the video. Towards the end, as she made her way out of the pool to rest, she said, “I felt like a crawfish.”
“Swimming down to Talokan was not as easy as it looked! 🏊🏿♀️🌊🏝 Safely supervised by @XPT Life and #MarkRobertsFitness 🏋🏿♀️ #wakandaforever #blackpanther #talokan #underwater #fittok #behindthescenes,” the caption read.
For the unversed, ‘Talokan’ is the changed screen name of King Namor’s home of origin, Atlantis. It was purportedly changed to differentiate the character from Jason Momoa‘s ‘Aquaman‘, who appears in the DC universe in the fictional setting of ‘Atlantis’.
In the new Black Panther movie, many scenes take place under the water with antagonist Namor, who rules over Talokan.
Earlier this month, Nyong’o was quoted as telling Variety, “Before we started this film, I knew how to swim, but I wasn’t a confident swimmer. I didn’t need to swim in public, that’s for sure. That’s a lifelong skill that I now have.”