Hollywood icon, Denzel Washington, has now paid tribute to the late Black Panther star, Chadwick Boseman, calling him a “gentle soul.” The talented actor and MCU star had been secretly battling colon cancer for the last four years and recently passed away surrounded by his wife and family.
“He didn’t get cheated. We did. I pray for his poor wife and his family. They got cheated, but he lived a full life,” Washington said of Boseman, who tragically died on August 28 at the age of 43. Washington also reflected on the premiere of the record-breaking comic book movie, Black Panther, saying, “I went backstage and I saw Chad and I saw Ryan Coogler, and then I watched the movie and I remember shedding a tear. Because I thought, man, these young guys are gone. Like they’d taken over.”
Washington famously helped pay for Chadwick Boseman and his Howard University peers’ tuition for a summer drama program at Oxford University, something which Boseman revealed back in 2018. During an event in 2019 at which Washington was presented with the American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Boseman thanked the Training Day star and honored his legacy saying, “There is no Black Panther without Denzel Washington. Not just because of me, but my whole cast, that generation stands on your shoulders.”
Washington has discussed the link between himself and Boseman in the past, and had joked with the actor during the Black Panther premiere saying, “I was talking with Ryan – Ryan and I talk all the time – he was the one who invited me. So Chad, you know, thanked me,” Washington said. “And I was like, ‘For what?’ He was like, ‘You know, because you [paid for my studies].’ I was like, ‘Oh, it was you! That’s really why I’m here, I want my money [laughs].'”
Washington then added that he was “glad to be – in a very small way – a part of” Boseman’s story.
Boseman was recently laid to rest at Welfare Baptist Church Cemetery in Belton, South Carolina, about 11 miles from his hometown of Anderson. He had been battling the disease in secret, not even letting Marvel or Disney know of his health situation. The actor had hoped that he would recover and had begun to prepare himself physically for the Black Panther sequel. Sadly, this was not meant to be, with Marvel now putting Black Panther 2 to one side in order to consider how they will continue the franchise with respect to Boseman.
Alongside Washington, Boseman’s co-stars have been paying tribute to the actor, with MCU stars Chris Evans and Samuel L. Jackson recently opening up about the sudden passing of their colleague and friend. When asked about how he has been processing his loss, Chris Evans took a deep breath and said, “Uh, it’s been tough. It’s been tough for everybody…it highlights the power he had [on all of us]. His cultural impact was immeasurable, not just as an artist, as a man. He bred an allegiance. He galvanized. He inspired. His legacy is solidified forever.”
Jackson meanwhile highlighted Boseman’s legacy and cultural importance, as well as revealing that the two of them had discussed working on a project together sometime in the near future. “Yes, it’s sudden to us all,” Jackson said. “I was trying to remember the last time I actually saw Chadwick…It was after a Captain Marvel premiere. We started talking about another project that I hoped we were gonna work on…and he said, I’m sorry I’m not gonna be there, but I wish I would be there.
It was gut-wrenching to lose someone that’s such an important part of the culture and in terms of what he became to the world, in terms of Black Panther. We all hope when we work that people remember things that we do. He imprinted society in such a way…especially the Black culture, gave Black kids a hero that they could aspire to…to lose him, I don’t know if I could even tell my kids that. I’d probably wait until they were older so they can process that.”
This comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.