Denzel Washington pays emotional tribute to 'gentle soul' Chadwick Boseman

Gregory Wakeman
·Contributor
·2 mins read
Chadwick Boseman arrives at the 47th AFI Life Achievement Award gala honoring actor Denzel Washington in Los Angeles, California, U.S., June 6, 2019. REUTERS/Monica Almeida
Chadwick Boseman arrives at the 47th AFI Life Achievement Award gala honoring Denzel Washington in Los Angeles, California, 6 June, 2019. Reuters/Monica Almeida

Denzel Washington has paid tribute to Chadwick Boseman, saying that the 43-year-old actor, who lost his battle to colon cancer last month, lived a full life.

Washington made his comments during a virtual conversation with Hollywood director Barry Levinson for the Toronto Film Festival, insisting that Boseman “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. He called the star of 42, Get On Up, Black Panther, and Avengers: Endgame a “gentle soul”, The Hollywood Reporter reported.

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 06: Denzel Washington speaks onstage at the 47th AFI Life Achievement Award honoring Denzel Washington at Dolby Theatre on June 06, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Erik Voake/Getty Images for WarnerMedia) 610530
Washington receives the 47th AFI Life Achievement Award in Los Angeles, California, 6 June, 2019. (Erik Voake/Getty Images for WarnerMedia)

Washington recalled attending the Black Panther premiere and becoming emotional at the work of writer/director Ryan Coogler and Boseman, and thinking that they were now primed to take over Hollywood.

"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.”

This wasn’t the first time that Washington has paid tribute to Boseman since he died on August 28.

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The Oscar-winner, who paid for Boseman and his fellow Howard University students’ tuition for a summer drama program at Oxford University around 25 years ago, released a statement to CNN in the days after his shocking death.

“He was a gentle soul and a brilliant artist, who will stay with us for eternity through his iconic performances over his short yet illustrious career. God bless Chadwick Boseman,” it read.

Boseman was diagnosed with cancer in 2016. He kept his condition private, while starring in films including Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, 21 Bridges, Da 5 Bloods, and the upcoming Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, which will be posthumously released on Netflix next year and was produced by Washington.