Andy Serkis revealed that his ribs came dangerously close to being broken by Chadwick Boseman in the “very, very first take” of filming their fight scene in Black Panther. Serkis, who plays Ulysses Klaue, told PeopleTV’s “Couch Surfing” that the scene required Boseman’s character T’Challa to knee him in the chest, but things went south because his co-star’s mask prevented him from seeing where exactly he was pretending to land the blow.
“Very, very first take, he kneed me so hard in the chest- ’cause he couldn’t really see with his mask on — I thought like he broke my ribs on the very first take,” Serkis recalls at the 1:11 mark on the video below. The close call was just the icing on the cake for the actor, who was really getting put through the ringer while filming the Marvel flick in South Korea.
With the scene playing before him, Serkis remembers being jet-lagged heading into the night shoot in Atlanta, and how he needed to go through 30 additional takes to perfect the scene where the car he was riding in flipped and crashed. “I’m going to die. I thought, I am literally going to die here,” he admits.
Despite all the challenges that he endured throughout the filming of Black Panther, Serkis made it out alive and spent the latter of the year releasing the Netflix film Mowgli, which he directed.