Angela Bassett, who plays Queen Ramonda in the “Black Panther” movies, recalled the week-long shoot in a 2018 interview with Stephen Colbert on “The Late Show.” Bassett explained that “Black Panther” shooting days were long, often requiring ten straight hours of work day after day in “hot” weather. In addition, there were artificial lights, making the stage, designed by Oscar winner Hannah Beachler, extraordinarily bright. She remembers thinking that two of her co-stars, Kaluuya and Lupita Nyong’o, were having an adverse reaction to the chlorinated water on set. However, it seems that filming outdoors for two weeks while looking directly at a reflective surface can have a far worse effect than just plain overchlorinated eyes. In her words:
“On the third day, I was looking at Daniel Kaluuya and Lupita, and their eyes were getting very, very red, especially Daniel’s. They were bloodshot. Then the next morning you come on set and you can’t open your eyes. So they’re testing the pH balance – safety first! But what they didn’t think… our eyes got sunburned. The light was reflecting back at us. It was horrible. I think he had to go to the living room ER. Blood on the pillow. It was the worst.”
Daniel Kaluuya played the character of W’Kabi in the “Black Panther” movies, a straight-talking rival and playful devil’s advocate who isn’t shy about confronting T’Challa over his rash decisions. While Winston Duke, who plays M’Baku, and Boseman likely spent the majority of their time in the water, having to fall, splash, dry off, and take another take of a highly choreographed fight sequence, it seems that Nyong’o and Kaluuya received the brunt of the actual danger with the light reflected so strongly that it required medical treatment for Kaluuya.
Bassett noted that, after Kaluuya’s hospitalization, the entire cast was given permission to wear sunglasses between takes.