Chadwick Boseman's On-Screen Father John Kani Speaks out on 'Black Panther' Actor's Death

Fans around the world were shocked to hear of Chadwick Boseman's passing on Friday night. In light of this devastating news, many of Boseman's Black Panther co-stars have issued tributes to the late actor. John Kani, who portrayed Boseman's on-screen father T'Chaka in Captain America: Civil War and Black Panther, spoke out on the news of his late friend's death by recalling some of his fondest memories of him.

In addition to posting a message on Twitter in honor of Boseman, Kani also appeared on the Weekend Breakfast with Sara-Jayne King podcast to pay tribute to his late co-star. Kani explained that he was shocked to learn of Boseman's death, calling it unbelievable. He went on to recall how impressed he was with the star when they filmed together in Cape Town. "I was really impressed with him. And immediately he went to introduce me to the rest of the crew, and that was the beginning of a father-son relationship," he said. Kani added how Boseman felt responsible for portraying the character of T'Challa in Black Panther in the best possible way for the Black community. He continued, "He felt very passionate about Black Panther as an African moment, that African Americans should take is as seriously as hell. Chadwick would say, if we drop this one, this is the last time we will get this kind of opportunity."

Kani even recounted one particularly special moment between the two when Boseman asked him whether he was representing African culture well in Black Panther: "One of the most moving moments for me was, we were standing there, and he comes over to me as the Black Panther and he said, 'Baba are you happy with me?' I said 'Yes, what do you mean'. He said, 'They way I am representing Africa in this movie?" I said 'Yes indeed. Absolutely'."

Kani explained that he has worked with numerous actors over the years, many of whom he lost touch with. But, when it came to Boseman, he considered him a dear friend: "You do movies and you move on. I have done over 40 movies. I am not in touch with most of those people, expect very few people will remain in touch. They become distant friends, and it was exactly the same with Chadwick." Boseman died at the age of 43 following a four-year battle with cancer. His team released a statement about the news on Friday night, explaining that he passed away with his family and his wife, Taylor Simone Ledward, by his side.