During this year’s Toronto Film Festival, the veteran actor shared a few words about Boseman who passed away last month following a private battle with colon cancer.
“He didn’t get cheated, we did,” Washington said of Boseman who he referred to as a “gentle soul.” “I pray for his poor wife and his family. They got cheated, but he lived a full life.”
“I went backstage and I saw Chad, and I saw Ryan Coogler…,” he said. “Then I watched the movie, and I remember shedding a tear because I thought, ‘Man, these young guys are gone,’” he said. “Like, they’d taken over.”
“I saw Ryan Coogler and Chad, and he said, ‘Oh, you know, I just wanted to thank you for paying,’ and I said, ‘Yeah, that’s why I’m here. I’m not here to see — I liked the movie, Black Panther… Wakanda Forever, but where’s my money?’” Washington told Stephen Colbert.
Though Washington didn’t get his money, his compensation came in the form of public praise. When Boseman took the stage at an American Film Institute event last year, he thanked his sponsor for making the contribution that eventually helped fund his acting classes.
“Imagine receiving the letter that your tuition for that summer was paid for and that your benefactor was none other than the dopest actor on the planet,” Boseman said. “There is no Black Panther without Denzel Washington.”
Following Boseman’s death, Washington penned a hearfelt message to the man known for his role as King T’Challa. “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.”