Lupita Nyong’o shared footage of her impressive underwater training in preparation for her role of Nakia in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Warning: Spoiler alert. In Wakanda Forever, Queen Ramonda, played by Angela Bassett, visits Nakia in Haiti, and asks her to locate the underwater kingdom of Talokan where Shuri and Riri Williams are being held captive by Namor. Nakia eventually helps Shuri and Riri escape after finding a way to gain access to Talokan.

“Swimming down to Talokan was not as easy as it looked,” Nyong’o wrote on her TikTok post. 

During her Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon appearance, Nyong’o recalled receiving a text from Wakanda Forever director Ryan Coogler where he asked her to rate her swimming skills from one to 10, to which she responded, at the 55-second mark, “Four, if I’m lucky. Because I would swim like a panicked puppy.”  

Their interaction led to her participating in Extreme Performance Training, or XPT, which focuses on improving someone’s capacity by training underwater with weights. “It’s all about overriding your panic button,” she explained. 

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Coogler revealed to Variety that he learned how to swim for Wakanda Forever. “A lot of us were raised to have fear of water,” he said. “If the camera’s in the water, actors are in the water, I’ve got to be in there too. I had to figure out how to swim, so I could direct this movie.”

Lupita has been tapped to star in the prequel A Quiet Place: Day OneStranger Things breakout star Joseph Quinn has also reportedly joined the cast. Day One is scheduled to hit theaters on March 8, 2024.