KEY POINTS

  • Ryan Coogler said making "Black Panther 2" without Chadwick Boseman is the "hardest thing" he's had to do in his career
  • The director is "incredibly sad" but also "incredibly motivated that I got to spend time with him"
  • Coogler called the actor the "glue who held" the project together

Chadwick Boseman's death came as a shock to his colleagues and fans last year, and "Black Panther" director Ryan Coogler is among those who miss working with the award-winning actor.

Coogler recently opened up about how the Marvel franchise will continue without its star. The director admitted that making "Black Panther 2" without Boseman is the "hardest thing" he's had to do in his career.

"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 director said during an appearance on the "Jemele Hill Is Unbothered" podcast.

"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 added.

The director said he is trying to "find a work-life balance." However, he admitted that he's "not there yet, so this is without a question the hardest thing I've had to do in my professional life."

Coogler confessed that he is "incredibly sad" to lose the actor, who played T'Challa/Black Panther, but is also "incredibly motivated that I got to spend time with him."

"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," he added.

After Boseman succumbed to colon cancer in August 2020 at age 43, Coogler paid an emotional tribute to the actor.

In the lengthy statement shared with Entertainment Weekly back then, the director mentioned how in African cultures, they often refer to loved ones that have passed on as ancestors.

"Sometimes you are genetically related. Sometimes you are not. I had the privilege of directing scenes of Chad’s character, T’Challa, communicating with the ancestors of Wakanda," he wrote.

Recalling shooting "Black Panther" with Boseman, the director said, "We were in Atlanta, in an abandoned warehouse, with bluescreens, and massive movie lights, but Chad’s performance made it feel real. I think it was because, from the time that I met him, the ancestors spoke through him."

"It’s no secret to me now how he was able to skillfully portray some of our most notable ones. I had no doubt that he would live on and continue to bless us with more. 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," he added.

Boseman was recently posthumously awarded the Golden Globe for best actor in a motion picture drama for his performance in Netflix's "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom." The film, along with "Da 5 Bloods," earned him four nominations for the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Ryan Coogler and Chadwick Boseman HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 30: Ryan Coogler (L) and Chadwick Boseman at the 50th NAACP Image Awards at Dolby Theatre on March 30, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images) Photo: Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images