When beautiful, talented, and charismatic celebrities fall into each other’s orbit, the ‘ship practically writes itself. At a screening of Black Panther, however, co-stars Michael B. Jordan and Lupita Nyong’o addressed fan speculation over their dating status. That’s right: in their case, that chemistry is actually totally platonic.
“It’s flattering at the end of the day,” Nyong’o said. “I think it’s such a rare thing to find people you have good chemistry with and too for us to find each other as actors and get to work together, it makes the work richer that we truly enjoy each other’s company on and off screen.”
While Black Panther villain Killmonger and Wakandan warrior Nakia probably wouldn’t be the best of friends, fans have taken note of how well Jordan and Nyong’o get along offscreen. The two are often hanging out with the rest of their Black Panther castmates on the red carpet, and they have had some notably playful interactions on social media. Last year, after Jordan lost a bet, Nyong’o would sneak up on him and have him do “on-call push-ups” whenever she told him to, and after last week’s Golden Globes, the pair filmed a viral sketch where fellow Black Panther alum Danai Gurira walked in on the two of them kissing on an elevator — in a delightful twist, Gurira pushed Jordan aside to grab Nyong’o for her own kiss. The sketch ended on a silly note, when Gurira and Nyong’o were seen falling to the ground and Jordan ran over to help them up as the elevator doors closed.
“This is the thing, first of all, Danai, she commits to everything, so she really committed to that whatever swoop and it took me by surprise,” Nyong’o told ET about the video. "We were both in stilettos, so we ended up on the ground...it was a slow, clunky fall to the ground. Yeah, it was really funny.”
Black Panther is getting some serious awards buzz leading up to this year’s Oscars, and the film was nominated for two Screen Actors Guild awards — so while Jordan and Nyong’o have shut down any claims of being romantically linked, we can probably expect to see more exciting red carpet shenanigans in the near future.