MCU star Danai Gurira broke her silence on the tragic death of Black Panther actor Chadwick Boseman late Sunday night, with a heartfelt statement released via social media. Gurira, also known for playing Michonne on The Walking Dead, had starred opposite Boseman in three out of four of his Marvel movie appearances – Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
“How do you honor a king?” Gurira began in her statement. “Reeling from the loss of my colleague, my friend, my brother. Struggling for words. Nothing feels adequate. I always marveled at how special Chadwick was. Such a pure-hearted, profoundly generous, regal, fun guy,” she said. The actress’ words were shared alongside a touching photo of herself and Boseman embraced in a hug and a shot of two on-set chairs – labelled “T’Challa” and “Okoye” – placed next to each other.
— Danai Gurira (@DanaiGurira) August 30, 2020
Of course, Gurira plays Okoye in the MCU, the leader of the Wakandan king’s all-female military guard, the Dora Milaje. The star goes on to note in her statement that her job as that character was to “respect and protect a king,” which she says Boseman made easy through his “kindness, elegance, diligence and grace.”
She described him as “perfectly equipped to take on the responsibility of leading the franchise that changed everything for Black representation.” The actress concluded her statement with a phrase in Zulu, “Lala Ngoxolo Kumkani.” This translates to: “Sleep in peace, O king.”
Gurira is the latest Marvel star to pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman following his passing over the weekend, after a private four-year battle with colon cancer. Others include Mark Ruffalo, Brie Larson, Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. Meanwhile, several celebrities who didn’t work directly with the actor have also paid their respects, such as Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds.