Denzel reportedly spoke about getting emotional after seeing “Black Panther” for the first time, stating, “I went to watch the movie and I remember shedding a tear. I was like, ‘Man, these young guys are just goin’!’ Like, ‘They’ve taken over!’ You know, sooner or later you’re not going make it all the way around the track. You’re going to take some time off and watch the young boys run. And watching that movie, that’s what I felt like. I’m like, ‘Man, they’re going.'”
He added, “Who knew he didn’t have much life left? But 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.”
Chadwick famously paid tribute to Denzel before he seasoned actor was set to receive the American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award. It was during his speech that Chadwick revealed Denzel’s kind act when he was just starting out.
“Many of you already know the story that Mr. Washington, when asked by Phylicia Rashad to join her in assisting nine theater students from Howard University who had been accepted to a summer acting program at the British Academy of Dramatic Acting in Oxford, gracefully and privately agreed to contribute. As fate would have it, I was one of the students that he paid for. Imagine receiving the letter that your tuition for that summer was paid for and that your benefactor was none other than the dopest actor on the planet.”
Chadwick later added, “There is no Black Panther without Denzel Washington.”