Director Ryan Coogler is opening up about how difficult it has been shooting Black Panther 2 without the late Chadwick Boseman.

On Tuesday (March 9), the Fruitvale Station director made an appearance on Jemele Hill’s “Jemele Hill Is Unbothered” podcast to speak about how filming is going without his close friend. “One thing that I’ve learned in my short or long time on this Earth is that it’s very difficult to have perspective on something while you’re going through it,” the 34-year-old said. ”This is one of the more profound things that I’ve gone through in my life, having to be a part of keeping this project going without this particular person who is like the glue who held it together.”

He continued, “I’m trying to find a work-life balance. But I’m not there yet, so this is without a question the hardest thing I’ve had to do in my professional life.”

Although Coogler is still mourning the loss of Boseman, he feels privileged to have known him. “I’m incredibly sad to lose him, but I’m also incredibly motivated that I got to spend time with him,” he said. “You spend your life hearing about people like him. For this individual, who is an ancestor now, I was there for it. It’s such an incredible privilege that fills you up as much as it knocks you out. So often as Black people, we have to pick up the pieces after loss.”

Last August, Boseman sadly passed away after silently fighting a four-year battle with colon cancer. The Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom actor died at his Los Angeles home with his wife and other family members by his side.

After his untimely death, Marvel Studios announced that his role as the Black Panther would not be recast. “[Boseman’s] portrayal of T’Challa the Black Panther is iconic and transcends any iteration of the character in any other medium from Marvel’s past, and it’s for that reason, that we will not recast the character,” said Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige. “However, to honor the legacy that Chad helped us build, we want to continue to explore the world of Wakanda and all the rich and varied characters introduced in the first film.”