Wakanda forever means just that — Wakanda forever. Chadwick Boseman, who plays Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is going to have to put up with requests from fans and people on the street to do the crossed-arms Wakanda salute for a long, long time. A picture of the star doing an especially un-enthusiastic salute on the Avengers: Infinity War red carpet went viral. “Wakan’t do this forever,” one caption read.
On Wednesday night’s episode of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Boseman explained why not all of his Wakanda forever salutes are quite so heroic.
“Because it’s a salute, you know?” Boseman began to explain after Colbert showed him the infamous picture from the Infinity War premiere. “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. That person, whoever I was doing it to at that moment, caught a casual one.”
Boseman said he’d done a really vigorous salute three minutes prior.
You’d forgive the 40-year-old actor for getting a little weary of the gesture, having been launched to a new level of stardom after the wild success of Black Panther. He told Colbert that fans recognize him from a block away and chase him down to either do the Wakanda salute or ask him to do it. Boseman says he’s had people driving in their cars next to him take both hands off the steering wheel to cross their arms and say “Wakanda forever!”
“I hope not on a motorcycle,” Colbert quips.