Angela Bassett appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert Tuesday night and shared a wild story from the filming of Black Panther. Bassett described the intense conditions that she, along with co-stars Daniel Kaluuya and Lupita Nyong'o, endured while filming the battle scenes at Wakanda's Warrior Falls under a scorching Atlanta, Georgia sun.
And it turns out Kaluuya and Nyong'o even ended up getting sunburn on their eyes.
"It was blazing hot. We did 10-hour days," she explained to Colbert. "We were out in the open, under the sky. Hot sun, and we had lights beaming down on us."
The first few days of filming, they didn't think much of it, figuring the chlorine in the water was just irritating to the eyes. But by the third day, Bassett noticed that Kaluuya and Nyong'o's eyes were looking really red. "Especially Daniel's, they were bloodshot red," Bassett said.
After testing pH balances of the water and scrambling to figure out what was wrong, they realized that the bright sun and added film lights were reflecting off the water and sunburning the actors' eyes. "It was awful," Bassett recalls, "I think Daniel had to go to the emergency room, there was, you know, blood on the pillow. I mean, it was just the worst."
When the mystery was solved and Kaluuya's eyes could heal, Bassett said from then on, "They'd yell 'Cut! Shades!'" and bring out sunglasses and umbrellas for extra caution.
During the interview, Colbert and Bassett also discussed the astounding cultural impact Black Panther has had, praising the fact the Ryan Coogler–directed movie was able to rake in $1 billion in just four weeks. Bassett also talked about being a 15-year-old realizing she wanted to act instead of becoming a molecular biophysicist, and her time as a Yale undergrad—spoken like a true queen.