Lupita Nyong’o and Michael B. Jordan gaze at each other during the Korean press conference for Black Panther. (Black Panther Facebook/Getty Images)
Rarely do I start shipping real celebrities with other real celebrities. I think it’s creepy, especially where celebrity fan fiction is involved. BUT, whenever I do find myself shipping celebs with other celebs, it always involves Lupita Nyong’o.
As someone kindly compiled on Twitter, Nyong’o has the ability to make every guy (and gal) look as if they were instantly struck by Cupid. I don’t know what kind of sorcery Nyong’o has on everyone, but I need it to get some juju going on in my life.
Nyong’o has been paired with everyone by starry-eyed fans. Jared Leto, Oscar Isaac, the list goes on and on (as the above Twitter thread proves). But the latest fan pairing that actually seems the most credible is Nyong’o and Black Panther co-star Michael B. Jordan.
It must first be said that Jordan and Nyong’o actually knew each other before Black Panther ever materialized. I don’t know exactly how good of friends they were beforehand (I’d imagine they were friendly regardless), but they definitely ran in the same circles. However, the Black Panther press junkets and conferences seem to have taken things to the next level. Maybe it’s because everyone‘s a friend on the Black Panther set, with several people already being hardcore friends before the film was ever made–Daniel Kaluuya and Letitia Wright, for instance, have a cute brother-sister relationship. Jordan, of course, rolls deep with director Ryan Coogler. Nyong’o and Danai Gurira are friends and collaborators. Forest Whitaker and the actor playing Young Zuri, Denzel Whitaker, met on another set and went through an extensive sit-down together to figure out if they were related (turns out that incredibly, they aren’t, despite looking a lot like each other). Martin Freeman and Andy Serkis are Hobbit alums. Maybe it’s because Coogler and the cast had bonding sessions in the form of parties and bowling nights, bringing everyone even closer together. But whatever the reason may be, there’s no denying that Jordan and Nyong’o are close.
Let’s go through the evidence folks are putting together to support the Lupita-Michael theory. The most recent developments are the videos of Nyong’o making Jordan do push-ups as payment for an amorphous bet.
On the surface, all of that is cute. But let’s get into some nitty-gritty stuff here. For instance, the Seoul tour Nyong’o, Jordan, Chadwick Boseman, and Coogler went on for the Black Panther Asian premiere. First, they get off the plane together:
And then there’s video of them eating dinner together with Jordan’s entourage.
And then there’s the BBC 1 Extra event/screening in London, which features Jordan chivalrously helping Nyong’o down from her chair. That moment would be just simply cute to me and I’d think nothing else about it save for reminiscing on Jordan’s manners, but the same thing happened in an even more exaggerated fashion for the Tumblr Q and A recently.
It’s at this point where I’m simultaneously happy and nauseated. Whether it’s just “close friendship,” flirting, or an actual serious relationship, it looks quite suspect to literally lay your body weight on someone as they’re helping you get off your chair. Yes, I know her dress was short and he was making sure she didn’t flash someone. I can see without rose-tinted glasses. I mean, it definitely made sense for her to get some help for her London outfit, which was basically a tuxedo blazer as a dress. But while Jordan’s actions show that indeed, chivalry isn’t dead, from where I’m sitting (and from what tons of pictures show), it still seems like these two take every excuse to touch each other.
Just check out my own tweet on the subject and a separate conversation about the two.
To me, a tell-tale sign someone is outwardly flirting through touch (and they *know* that you want them to touch you) is if they touch your knee/lower thigh. Some touches can be all-purpose, but this picture states otherwise. I'm on to you, Lupita and Michael. pic.twitter.com/vV0jAEMGCP
— Monique Jones (@moniqueblognet) February 27, 2018
I was front row at the press conference and was refraining from full on fangirling because they kept whispering, holding hands and giggling to each other. I am almost 40, and I used the term 'ship' for the first time because I need this in my life.
— Yolanda Machado (@SassyMamainLA) February 14, 2018
I mean… pic.twitter.com/kANEHCBjAR
— Yolanda Machado (@SassyMamainLA) February 14, 2018
You could say that… pic.twitter.com/xL6Z6l1ITu
— Yolanda Machado (@SassyMamainLA) February 27, 2018
Dare I bring up the teasing/flirting-not-flirting that was happening during the taping of MTV’s Safeword (a show I’ve never heard of but is apparently popular)?
Suggestive much? I mean, I guess friends could make these types of jokes with each other…I’ve never made these types of jokes with my friends, but then again, I’m not an actor nor am I wildly extroverted and flirtatous. And I’m a Vulcan. But apparently, friends don’t make those types of jokes after all, since they both deleted their tweets after a couple of hours, which were a couple of hours too long, since Twitter still took hold of it and gossip sites like Bossip and The Shade Room still reported on it.
Almost everything written in this post is hilariously summed up in one of the latest Desus & Mero videos, which leaves even them questioning what’s really going down.
The chorus of Twitter (including Girls’ Trip writer/producer Tracy Y. Oliver) have all but declared Nyong’o and Jordan the next (And only) It Couple of 2018.
— Tracy Y. Oliver (@TracyYOliver) February 21, 2018
Document 1.B on Lupita Nyong’o and Michael B. Jordan.
— Skye Chanel (@Skye_chanel) February 22, 2018
I just want a romantic comedy starring Lupita Nyong’o and Michael B. Jordan play rival private detectives who are forced to go undercover at a seaside resort. Is that too much to ask? pic.twitter.com/NUVPOS0LCH
— Nivea Serrao (@NiveaSerrao) February 20, 2018
I NEVER comment on celeb's personal lives nor do I care but … If Lupita Nyong'o and Michael B. Jordan really do have something going on …. I'm ALLLLLL for it. This needs to happen. Make babies.
— Tara Ansley (@TaraAnsley) February 21, 2018
between Michael B. Jordan & Lupita Nyong'o and Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir how are we not all literally dead from secondhand sexual tension
— Margaret H. Willison (@MrsFridayNext) February 21, 2018
The only real catch is that Nyong’o and Jordan haven’t confirmed anything! First of all, it’s unclear if Nyong’o is still in a relationship, but Jordan has said he’s “dating, but technically single.” That could mean a lot of things, and doesn’t rule out the possibility that he and Nyong’o are still in a flirty phase of their relationship. Or it could mean nothing. But the Nyong’o and Jordan aren’t doing a great job of deterring people from believing they’re a couple. There’s just too much touching and too many smiles and too many looks for it to be just friendship. If it is, then that’s the most romantic platonic friendship I’ve ever seen.