Samuel L. Jackson on 'Gut-Wrenching' Loss of Chadwick Boseman: 'It Was Sudden to Us All'

The actor said Chadwick Boseman gave "kids a hero that they could aspire to" with his Black Panther portrayal

Samuel L. Jackson is reflecting on Chadwick Boseman's legacy.

On Tuesday, the Oscar nominee, 71, appeared on the Tamron Hall Show alongside his wife-of-40-years, LaTanya Richardson, when he honored the Black Panther actor, who died of colon cancer on Aug. 28 at age 43.

“It was sudden to us all,” said Jackson. “I was trying to remember the last time I’d actually seen Chadwick. And I was talking to Zoe, our daughter, about it, and it was at the Captain Marvel premiere."

Boseman attended the Los Angeles premiere of Captain Marvel (which stars Jackson and Brie Larson) on March 4, 2019, at the Dolby Theatre, showing support for his colleagues in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

“We walked in and we started talking about another project that I had hoped that we were gonna work on. He was like, ‘I’m sorry, y’all, I’m not going to be there, but I wish we were gonna work together,’" recalled Jackson. “We were talking about it, we had planned it for a while ..."

The Pulp Fiction actor went on to say that it was "gut-wrenching" to lose Boseman, "someone that’s such an important part of the culture, in terms of what he became to the world in terms of Black Panther."

Samuel L. Jackson and Chadwick Boseman
Samuel L. Jackson and Chadwick Boseman attend the Los Angeles World Premiere of Captain Marvel at Dolby Theatre on March 4, 2019, in Hollywood, California. Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories

“We all hope when we work that people remember things that we do. But he imprinted society in such a way and impacted — especially the Black culture, and giving kids a hero that they could aspire to. To lose him, I don’t even know if I would have been able to tell my kid that," Jackson said. "I might have waited until they were older so they could process it better. It’s devastating.”

In announcing his death last month, Boseman's team revealed that he had privately battled colon cancer since 2016, and continued making movies "during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy." A statement at the time added that his role as King T'Challa in Black Panther was "the honor of his career."

Reacting to the news of Boseman's death, Jackson wrote on Twitter at the time: "THANK YOU @chadwickboseman for all you gave us. We needed it & will always cherish it! A talented & giving artist & brother who will be sorely missed🙏🏿 RIP."

RELATED VIDEO: John David Washington Honors Chadwick Boseman: 'He Was Responsible for a Lot of Positive Change’

RELATED GALLERY: The Most Touching Chadwick Boseman Fan Tributes from Around the World

Captain Marvel star Larson, 30, also honored Boseman after his death, posting a shot of herself and Boseman together at the March 2019 premiere event alongside a heartfelt statement. The two were poised to lead Disney's next phase of Marvel movies with their newly introduced characters.

"Chadwick was someone who radiated power and peace. Who stood for so much more than himself. Who took the time to really see how you were doing and gave words of encouragement when you felt unsure," Larson wrote.

"I’m honored to have the memories I have. The conversations, the laughter. My heart is with you and your family. You will be missed and never forgotten," she added. "Rest in power and peace my friend."

Related Articles