"He was just as warm and welcoming as you would hope a leading man would be," John David Washington says of Chadwick Boseman in this week's issue of PEOPLE

By Mary Green and Alexia Fernandez
September 16, 2020 04:45 PM
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The Tenet star tells PEOPLE in this week's issue that while he never worked with Boseman on a film, he had the opportunity to get to know him after a "brief encounter" with the late actor at a Vanity Fair shoot.

"He was just as warm and welcoming as you would hope a leading man would be," says Washington of Boseman. "That's what he was, a leading man. He exemplified professionalism. He exemplified the kind of artist one would hope to be. He was very serious about his work."

Washington noted Boseman "kept his private life separate" from his work which he believes "added to his artistry."

  • For more about John David Washington, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

"At the same time, he did a lot of work in the community and he spoke openly about our community's relationship in Hollywood," Washington adds. "He had a global impact, being the face of one of the biggest franchises of all time in our industry."

"He was responsible for a lot of positive change and a lot of medicine administered to a lot of kids that look like me with hopes and dreams of maybe becoming what he can become," says Washington. "It was a huge loss, but it's a time to celebrate and forever celebrate him and what he has done. There's only one true king and that is Chadwick Boseman."

Boseman died on Aug. 28 at the age of 43. The Black Panther star passed away at his Los Angeles home, where he was surrounded by his family.

The actor was buried in Belton, South Carolina, about 11 miles away from his hometown of Anderson. A cause of death was listed as multiple organ failure with the underlying cause listed as colon cancer, according to his death certificate which was obtained by PEOPLE.

Boseman's hometown honored him with a screening of Black Panther and a community memorial on the same day as his burial.