• Chadwick Boseman said he was a vegetarian and had been working out to lose weight when asked about his slimmer frame
  • A few netizens mocked Boseman's weight loss without knowing that he had been battling cancer at the time
  • The "Black Panther" star may have hinted at his cancer battle in a 2017 interview

Chadwick Boseman once gave a "thoughtful response" when asked about his changed appearance after losing weight without disclosing any details about his battle with cancer.

Wayne A.I. Frederick, the president of Howard University, met the "Black Panther" star and Phylicia Rashad for dinner to discuss the school's plans for its Fine Arts program in 2019. Frederick noticed that Boseman looked "smaller than he had been" after losing weight and he presumed it was for a film. He even asked Boseman how difficult it was to change weight for a role.

"In his usual style, he gave a long, detailed answer, explaining that he was a vegetarian and was exercising and trying to take care of himself and do what he had to do," Frederick said as quoted by The Hollywood Reporter.

"It was a very thoughtful response, never letting on that anything else was happening."

The world only learned about Boseman's battle with cancer when his family announced his death saying that he had been battling the illness for four years already.

"One of his greatest attributes was never burdening anyone else, but being there to shoulder everyone else’s burdens," Frederick added.

Many were brokenhearted after learning about Boseman's death. Several took to Twitter and recalled the time some mocked him for his appearance after losing too much weight.

"Chadwick Boseman was relentlessly castigated over his drastic weight loss to the point where he had to delete pictures and turn off comments on IG. Let this be a lesson to be please be mindful about your words & judgements. You don’t know what type of battle people are fighting," one wrote on Twitter.

"RIP Chadwick Boseman. I remember when he was trending for his drastic weight loss. Some people expressed genuine concern. Others made memes and jokes. I suppose there’s a lesson there for us all," another added.

Looking back, it seems like Boseman could have been hinting at his disease in an interview with Huffington Post writer Matthew Jacobs in 2017. During their conversation, Jacobs also brought up the same weight issue while discussing how the actor had to bulk up and slim down for the roles he portrayed. When Jacobs told the actor, “You’ve been through the wringer,” Boseman responded, “Oh, you don’t even know. You have no idea. One day I’ll live to tell the story.”

Chadwick Boseman Black Panther
Chadwick Boseman has done extensive research to play Black Panther in "Captain America: Civil War." The actor is pictured at the Oscars on Feb. 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. Getty Images