Ryan Coogler has described Chadwick Boseman as an “epic firework display”.
The ‘Black Panther’ director has remembered the actor, who tragically passed away this week at the age of 43 after a secret battle with colon cancer, as a “caretaker, a leader, and a man of faith, dignity and pride”.
Speaking about his friend, he said: “Chad deeply valued his privacy, and I wasn’t privy to the details of his illness. After his family released their statement, I realised that he was living with his illness the entire time I knew him. Because he was a caretaker, a leader, and a man of faith, dignity and pride, he shielded his collaborators from his suffering. He lived a beautiful life. And he made great art. Day after day, year after year. That was who he was. He was an epic firework display. 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.”
And the 34-year-old filmmaker feels “broken” by Chadwick’s death but described him as an “ancestor”, who will “watch over” all of us.
In a lengthy statement, he added: “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. 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. It hurts more to know that we can’t have another conversation, or facetime, or text message exchange.
“He would send vegetarian recipes and eating regimens for my family and me to follow during the pandemic. He would check in on me and my loved ones, even as he dealt with the scourge of cancer … But it is with a heavy heart and a sense of deep gratitude to have ever been in his presence, that I have to reckon with the fact that Chad is an ancestor now. And I know that he will watch over us, until we meet again.”