Chadwick Boseman was the "glue who held it together," Coogler said on the podcast Jemele Hill is Unbothered

Ryan Coogler, the mastermind behind Black Panther, is speaking out on how the franchise will continue without its star, Chadwick Boseman.

Coogler, 34, is working on the highly anticipated sequel to the 2018 film and spoke about what it was like continuing without Boseman on the podcast Jemele Hill is Unbothered. Boseman died last August at age 43 after a private four-year battle with colon cancer.

"I'm still currently going through it," Coogler said of mourning his friend. "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. 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 continued, "That said, you have a professional life, you've got a personal life. Personal life, I'm going to say that when you work in something that you love, those things blend, they come together. I'm trying to find a work-life balance. But I'm not there yet, so this is without a question the hardest thing I've had to do in my professional life."

"This one hurts and stings, but it's also incredibly motivating," Coogler said.

"I'm incredibly sad to lose him but I'm also incredibly motivated that I got to spend time with him," he added. "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."

Marvel Studios' BLACK PANTHER Black Panther/T'Challa
Chadwick Boseman as King T'Challa in Black Panther
| Credit: Marvel

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Boseman's last performance can be seen in Netflix's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom for which he has been posthumously awarded the Golden Globe for best actor in a motion picture drama and the Critics' Choice Award for best actor.

He has also been nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award. The SAG Awards will air on Sunday, April 4.

Coogler wrote a movie tribute to Boseman after the actor's death describing him as "a special person." 

"That was who he was. He was an epic firework display. I will tell stories about being there for some of the brilliant sparks till the end of my days. What an incredible mark he's left for us," Coogler wrote.