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Black Panther's Letitia Wright Thought Chadwick Boseman's Death Was A Cruel Joke At First

Chadwick Boseman's death was a massive shock to the MCU fandom and even to many of those closest to him. The actor only let a few people in his life know about his battle with colon cancer. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige and "Black Panther" director Ryan Coogler also had no idea of Boseman's illness until the day he died in 2020. That made the actor's devastating death even more surprising and caused many to question if it was true.

Most heard about Boseman's passing on social media and likely began a desperate search to determine if it was another celebrity death hoax. It wasn't just fans of the actor who thought it was a sick joke, but his closest friends and co-workers as well. "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" star Letitia Wright recounts the events of that fateful day in a new interview with Variety, where she remembers how unbelievable it all was and what she did in the moments after hearing the sad news.

Letitia Wright didn't believe the news of Chadwick Boseman's death

In a Variety feature on "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," Letitia Wright remembered what went through her head the day Chadwick Boseman passed. Wright recounted thinking, "Is someone trying to play a joke on me?" As the emotions flooded, she thought, "This is not a good joke. This is not OK." To make sense of it all, the actress called Boseman, but no one answered, so she texted, "Hey Bro, it's Tish. Please pick up."

Shortly after, Wright turned to another friend and cast member she thought might be able to help — Daniel Kaluuya. "I was like, 'Yo; I think everybody's tripping right now. I'm giving you like five seconds to tell me that this is not real,'" the actress remembered of her call with Kaluuya. "He was super silent. I was like, 'OK, fine, if you're not gonna tell me, I'm going to continue calling Chad until he picks up.'" But the "Get Out" star broke his silence and said, "'Tish, what are you doing?'"

Kaluuya didn't want Wright calling Boseman repeatedly for the effect it might have on his family. After Wright heard her co-star mention Boseman's family, the sad news sunk in.

She wasn't the only one who didn't believe the news. Ryan Coogler was in denial about Boseman's death, and just like Wright, he called a friend to see if it was true. That friend was Denzel Washington, who was also wondering if the news was true. Shortly after their conversation, the information became public online.

Wright struggled after Boseman's death

Letitia Wright explained to Variety that Chadwick Boseman's death sent her to a bad place — she couldn't sleep and started to spiral. Even worse, she couldn't be present for Boseman's memorial due to the pandemic. "It haunted me for months that I couldn't say goodbye to him or be around my 'Black Panther' family to share in that moment," she remembered. "I kind of had to do that by myself. Like, bless Daniel — he came to see me and stuff. But it wasn't enough. I wanted to book a flight that day."

Wright and Boseman had truly something special. Ryan Coogler noted that Wright was the only person who could get Boseman to come out of T'Challa during filming. "Chadwick's smile was big like a Cheshire cat, but when he became T'Challa, the smile got small — you wouldn't see his teeth," the director noted. "She was the only actor who would get him to smile as Chad."

They were brother and sister on screen, but that sibling bond became a reality off-screen.