An emotional tribute to American actor Chadwick Boseman by Black Panther director Ryan Coogler has hailed the late actor as “a man of faith, dignity and pride”.
Boseman, who starred in many recent films including Black Panther, died last week after battling colon cancer.
Coogler was the director of Black Panther, a movie from the Marvel franchise that was released in 2018.
Director said Boseman’s death had left him broken
In a long tribute to his lead actor and friend, Coogler described Boseman as an “epic firework” who “made great art, day after day, year after year”.
“I haven’t grieved a loss this acute before. I spent the last year preparing, imagining and writing words for him to say, that we weren’t destined to see,” Coogler wrote.
“It leaves me broken knowing that I won’t be able to watch another close-up of him in the monitor again or walk up to him and ask for another take.
“I will tell stories about being there for some of the brilliant sparks till the end of my days. What an incredible mark he’s left for us.”
Chadwick Boseman, who starred in Black Panther, died of colon cancer aged 43.(Supplied: Disney/Marvel Studios)
Boseman had several hit roles portraying famous African Americans.
In 2013, he started in the movie 42, portraying famous baseball player Jackie Robinson.
He also played artist James Brown in the movie Get on Up.
But it was in Black Panther as the lead character T’Challa that Boseman will be best remembered.
I had the privilege of directing scenes of Chad’s character, T’Challa, communicating with the ancestors of Wakanda.
We were in Atlanta, in an abandoned warehouse, with bluescreens, and massive movie lights, but Chad’s performance made it feel real. I think it was, because from the time that I met him, the ancestors spoke through him.
It’s no secret to me now how he was able to skilfully portray some of our most notable ones. I had no doubt that he would live on and continue to bless us with more.
But even Coogler didn’t know about Boseman’s diagnosis
Like many other people, Coogler did not know about Boseman’s battle with colon cancer.
The director said a combination of Boseman’s privacy, coupled with his role as a leader in the African American community, meant he hid his illness.
“After his family released their statement, I realised that he was living with his illness the entire time I knew him,” Coogler wrote.
“Because he was a caretaker, a leader, and a man of faith, dignity and pride, he shielded his collaborators from his suffering.
“I know that he will watch over us, until we meet again.”
Lewis Hamilton dedicated his win to Boseman
Lewis Hamilton dedicated his win at the Belgium Grand Prix to Boseman.(Twitter: @LewisHamilton)
On Sunday, Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton dedicated his win in the Belgian Grand Prix to Boseman and his family.
The Mercedes driver stood atop his car and crossed his arms over his chest in a ‘Wakanda Forever’ salute after setting the fastest time during the qualifying session on Saturday.
Hamilton did the Wakanda Salute atop his car after setting the fastest time during the qualifying session on Saturday.(AP: Francois Lenoir)
The gesture refers to the traditional greeting used in the Black Panther film.
Following Sunday’s win, Hamilton tweeted it had been an “emotional weekend”.
“I want to dedicate this win to Chad and his family, he was such an inspiration and his legacy will live on,” the tweet said.
Actor Josh Gad shared one of the last texts he received from Boseman
Coogler and Hamilton weren’t the only stars to express their grief over the death of Boseman.
Actors Josh Gad and Denzel Washington both gave tributes to Boseman.(Reuters/Paramount Pictures)
Actor Josh Gad from Frozen posted on social media a few of the last texts he received from Boseman.
“He knew how precious every moment was. Tonight the Heavens received one of its most powerful angels,” Gad wrote.
Denzel Washington told The Hollywood Reporter that Boseman’s performances will last forever.
“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,” Washington said.
“God bless Chadwick Boseman.”