Chadwick Boseman's wife, Simone Ledward Boseman, is reflecting on her late husband's legacy, two years after his death.
Ahead of the premiere of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Simone sat down for an interview with Whoopi Goldberg that aired Tuesday on Good Morning America, where she opened up about the "most challenging two years" of her life.
She revealed that it was during the COVID-19 pandemic that her husband's health really began to "spiral," as he managed through his fourth year battling colon cancer.
"It seemed like, 'Is this a crazy coincidence?' That we get to actually be inside, we get to be here with family, you know, together, and everybody in the world is also experiencing this togetherness in the midst of this awful, scary, unpredictable time," Simone recalled.
They kept their circle tight, she said, and as a result of their privacy, news of Boseman's death at the age of 43 in August 2020 "shocked and devastated" the world, explained Goldberg, 66.
"Some days, I'm doing worse than I'm really willing to acknowledge. Other days, I'm doing better than I feel comfortable admitting," Simone shared.
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Best known for his portrayal of King T'Challa in 2018's Black Panther, Boseman's legacy lives on in a scholarship created in his name at his "beloved" alma mater, Howard University. The university's college of fine arts has also been renamed in Boseman's honor.
"We have four scholars. One of them graduated this past year, and was very proud to be the first graduating Boseman scholar of the first graduating class of the Chadwick Boseman College of Fine Arts," Simone said.
Shawn Smith, the recent graduate she referenced, said Boseman's legacy "paved the way" for him.
Through the honorary scholarship, Simone said she is "taking this mantle and we are carrying it to as many voices as we can."
"I can't believe that I was so lucky," she said tearfully. "I can't believe that I got to love this person, and I also got them to love me too."
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Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige first announced that Boseman's titular role would not be recast during Disney's Investor Day that December. The previous month, executive producer Victoria Alonso said Boseman's character would not be rendered digitally either.
Several cast and crew members honored Boseman at the Los Angeles premiere of Wakanda Forever last week via their red-carpet style, including Letitia Wright and Janeshia Adams-Ginyard.
The film, which is two hours and 41 minutes, follows the returning cast as they "fight to protect their nation from intervening world powers in the wake of King T'Challa's death," per an official synopsis from Marvel.
"[Director/co-writer Ryan] Coogler delivers a soulful, wondrous sequel that packs an emotional punch & effectively explores relevant world themes," film critic Fico Cangiano wrote of the movie. "A beautiful tribute to Boseman's legacy. Letitia & Tenoch [Huerta] are great, & the mid-credits scene is really moving."
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is in theaters Nov. 11.