Morris Chestnut, who made his movie debut in Boyz n the Hood, remembered filmmaker John Singleton on Instagram, thanking him for "giving me a chance."
On Monday, Chestnut shared a photo he recently took with Singleton, alongside a long tribute to the director.
"John Singleton gave me a chance," Chestnut wrote. "When I left the audition for Boyz n the Hood as he shook my hand, he gave me a stronger grip than normal and looked me in the eye. I felt he was basically giving me a signal that I had the job without telling me."
Chestnut continued, "From there, there was no comprehension of the massive chain of events that were about to follow. People from all over the world literally tell me how they're affected by Boyz n the Hood. The magnitude and world-wide impact that his ground-breaking film would have for society cannot be measured. Helping to bring awareness of what it takes to come to maturity as a black male in the 'Hood, or die trying... Helping to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges faced. Dealing with challenges and adversity in life and in general. From that lesson, for anyone who watches Boyz n the Hood, we are able to learn a little more about ourselves and each other. Hopefully, we are able to grow, evolve and gain a deeper love and understanding of our humanity."
The actor went on to thank Singleton for his vision, adding, "Thank you for holding my hand a little stronger. Thank you for connecting with me and thank you for connecting me to history. Thank you for connecting and transcending generations, nationalities, nations, races, communities, societies. Thank you, John Singleton, for connecting us all."
Singleton, 51, died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after suffering a stroke on April 17. On Monday, his family chose to take the producer off life support.
"We want to thank the amazing doctors at Cedars-Sinai Hospital for their expert care and kindness and we again want thank all of John's fans, friends and colleagues for all of the love and support they showed him during this difficult time," his family said in a statement.
Chestnut shot to fame for playing Ricky in Boyz n the Hood, his first movie role. He worked with Singleton again in Higher Learning. The actor starred in his own medical drama for FOX, Rosewood, and now stars in NBC's The Enemy Within. He recently starred in Girls Trip, When The Bough Breaks and The Best Man Holiday.
Singleton earned Oscar nominations for writing and directing Boyz N The Hood, which also made stars of Cuba Gooding Jr. and Ice Cube. He later directed Poetic Justice, Rosewood, Baby Boy, Shaft, 2 Fast 2 Furious and an episode of American Crime Story. He is survived by his parents and seven children.
Photo credits: Getty Images