'I Wish We Had More Time': Michael B. Jordan Pens a Powerful Tribute to Chadwick Boseman

Gabrielle Bruney
·4 mins read
Photo credit: Kevin Mazur
Photo credit: Kevin Mazur

From Esquire

Part of Chadwick Boseman always seemed to belong to the ages. He just had a nobility as a performer that allowed him to capture the stories of Black American legends like Jackie Robinson and James Brown, to make a comic book super hero seem like true royalty, and to become real-life hero to children and fans around the world.

Boseman died of colon cancer Friday at just 43 years old, and friends and admirers have taken to social media to memorialize the Black Panther star. After a few days of silence, Boseman's co-star Michael B. Jordan has shared a powerful, moving tribute.

"I wish we had more time," wrote Jordan on Instagram. "Everything you’ve given the world… the legends and heroes that you’ve shown us we are… will live on forever. But the thing that hurts the most is that I now understand how much of a legend and hero YOU are. Through it all, you never lost sight of what you loved most. You cared about your family, your friends, your craft, your spirit. You cared about the kids, the community, our culture and humanity. You cared about me."

Jordan also thanked his late friend for "pav[ing] the way for him" in one of his first ever acting jobs. Though the pair became famous worldwide for playing Marvel's King T'Challa his nemesis Erik Killmonger, they share a connection that stretches back more than a decade.

Jordan played Reggie Porter, a gang affiliated teenager, the soap opera All My from 2003 through 2006. But he wasn't the only actor to land the role—Boseman was the first person cast as Reggie, though he was later fired for pushing the show's writers to make the character less stereotypical. And though his efforts cost him his job, the writers did take some of Boseman's suggestions, and by the time Jordan earned the role, Reggie had been adapted into less of a caricature.

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I’ve been trying to find the words, but nothing comes close to how I feel. I’ve been reflecting on every moment, every conversation, every laugh, every disagreement, every hug…everything. I wish we had more time. One of the last times we spoke, you said we were forever linked , and now the truth of that means more to me than ever. Since nearly the beginning of my career, starting with All My Children when I was 16 years old you paved the way for me. You showed me how to be better, honor purpose, and create legacy. And whether you’ve known it or not…I’ve been watching, learning and constantly motivated by your greatness. I wish we had more time. Everything you’ve given the world … the legends and heroes that you’ve shown us we are … will live on forever. But the thing that hurts the most is that I now understand how much of a legend and hero YOU are. Through it all, you never lost sight of what you loved most. You cared about your family , your friends, your craft, your spirit. You cared about the kids, the community, our culture and humanity. You cared about me. You are my big brother, but I never fully got a chance to tell you, or to truly give you your flowers while you were here. I wish we had more time. I'm more aware now than ever that time is short with people we love and admire. I’m gonna miss your honesty, your generosity, your sense of humor, and incredible gifts. I’ll miss the gift of sharing space with you in scenes. I’m dedicating the rest of my days to live the way you did. With grace, courage, and no regrets. “Is this your king!?” Yes . he . is! Rest In Power Brother.

A post shared by Michael B. Jordan (@michaelbjordan) on Aug 31, 2020 at 4:47pm PDT

"I had to voice my opinions and put my stamp on it. And the good thing about it was, it changed it a little bit for [Jordan]," Boseman told The Wrap last year. "They said, ‘You are too much trouble,’ but they took my suggestions, or some of them. And for me, honestly, that’s what this is about."

"I'm more aware now than ever that time is short with people we love and admire." Jordan continued in his memorial post. "I’m gonna miss your honesty, your generosity, your sense of humor, and incredible gifts. I’ll miss the gift of sharing space with you in scenes. I’m dedicating the rest of my days to live the way you did. With grace, courage, and no regrets. “Is this your king!?” Yes . he . is! Rest In Power Brother."

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