Black Panther's Chadwick Boseman Laughs at "Wakanda Forever" Memes

Plus, the actor explains the origins of the iconic salute on The Late Show

By Zach Johnson May 17, 2018 12:10 PMTags

Black Panther is such a popular movie that wherever Chadwick Boseman goes, fans will ask him to do the "Wakanda Forever" salute. As he revealed on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! last month, "If I don't want to do it, I have to not leave the house, pretty much. I have been chased in cars!"

In recent appearances to promote Avengers: Infinity War, the actor appeared less enthusiastic to be doing the now iconic salute. And, before he knew it, Twitter had turned him into a meme:

Black Panther's Hollywood Premiere
Scott Kowalchyk/CBS

So, Stephen Colbert asked him about the memes on CBS' The Late Show Wednesday. "I thought it was funny. I thought it was funny, what people were saying. It's like a salute, you know?" Boseman said. "If I was in the military and I did this every day, I'm not going to do it the same every time. Sometimes it's more pedestrian. So that person, whoever I was doing it to at that moment, caught a casual one. Three minutes before that, I probably did one that was fully yes!"

To properly do the greeting, Boseman said, "It's the right over the left."

The actor also explained how he and director Ryan Coogler came up with the "Wakanda Forever" salute on set. "We were doing the scene in the throne room, and Ryan came to me and was basically like, 'We need some way for the Dora Milaje, the king's guard, to sort of salute you.' We had been talking about these sort of poses that have ancient meanings. This was sort of a like an Egyptian pharaoh. It was that idea—and it means a lot of different things, too. You could also turn it into a fighting style at certain moments. So 'Wakanda Forever' could be 'Wakanda Never,'" he joked while pretending to push someone away. "Step away from me!"