Getting open about his pain, Winston Duke. Duke, who plays M’Baku in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, talked to ET’s Rachel Smith about dealing with loss both on and off the set.
First, he talked about his Black Panther co-star Chadwick Boseman, and then about his mother, who Duke said he lost less than three weeks ago.
Duke was asked how it was making the sequel to the franchise’s first film without Boseman, who passed away in August 2020 after a fight with colon cancer, and he replied, “It’s incredibly hard, but I don’t think he’s not with us.” His legacy, labor, and contributions are still with us. In our hearts, we always have him with us. On the call sheet on set, we never had a number one. Because Chadwick was the recipient of a spot that was kept throughout, it began at number two.
“I usually say that the battle in dying is finding methods to hang onto people,” he concluded.
Life is about learning how to let go of people, whether or not they are beneficial to you. We hang onto him in our hearts, in our job, and in how we approach life going ahead because how you hold on in death matters.
The death of Boseman and Duke’s mother, who passed away only days before the movie’s global debut, served as inspiration for the sequel, Duke said, connecting superhero stories to the sadness and loss their main protagonists frequently experience.
The 35-year-old actor said before breaking down in tears, “I’ve discovered in suffering a lot of loss myself, losing Chadwick, losing my mother maybe 20 days ago or so, I realize how closely interwoven the tale of superheroes and grieving is. “And that’s truly what makes them strong, sympathetic, and impactful.
Without Uncle Ben, who would be Spider-Man? Without his parents, who would be Batman? Without all of Krypton, who is Superman?
It’s about loss and the glory of overcoming it, he continued.
Duke noted that while it’s unlikely that M’Baku will ever assume the title of the Black Panther, he would still like to see the character develop more and gain more superpowers.
Duke clarified, “My character doesn’t pray to Basts. “So, even though I’m not sure whether that’s true, it would be amazing to see him assert himself as a staunch believer in Hanuman.
It would be amazing to see him fully matured and with superpowers.”