Denzel Washington thinks the world has been "cheated" out of Chadwick Boseman.
The Equalizer actor felt the Black Panther star lived a full life before his tragic death last month at the age of 43 following a secret battle with cancer.
Speaking to director Barry Levinson at the Toronto Film Festival on Thursday (Sept 17), he said: "He didn't get cheated. We did. I pray for his poor wife and his family. They got cheated, but he lived a full life."
The 65-year-old star recalled how he cried when he saw Black Panther for the first time at a red carpet premiere.
He said: "I went backstage and I saw Chad and I saw [director] Ryan Coogler, and then I watched the movie and I remember shedding a tear, because I thought, man, these young guys are gone. Like they'd taken over."
Denzel previously paid tribute to Chadwick after his death when he remembered him as a "gentle soul and a brilliant artist".
He said: "He was a gentle soul and a brilliant artist,who will stay with us for eternity through his iconic performances over his short yet illustrious career. God bless Chadwick Boseman."
Last year, Chadwick spoke when the American Film Institute honoured Denzel with their Lifetime Achievement Award and recalled how the Oscar-winning star had paid for him and This Is Us actress Susan Kelechi Watson to take an acting course at Oxford University, which led him to set a goal of one day meeting the veteran actor to thank him properly.
He said at the time: "There is no Black Panther without Denzel Washington. And not just because of me, my whole cast — that generation — stands on your shoulders.
"In the mind-numbing world we all live in, we need heroes, we need superheroes like Denzel to remind us that the world, that we're all one people. That's your gift, sir. You unite us, you inspire us, and I want to thank you for leading the way."
Photos: TPG News/Click Photos