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Angela Bassett Remembers Her ‘Full Circle’ Friendship With Chadwick Boseman

”Our story began long before his historic turn as Black Panther,“ actress explains in tribute

Chadwick Boseman and Angela Bassett may have shared the screen in 2018’s “Black Panther,” but their relationship began many years before that.

Bassett recalled her first encounter with Boseman in a loving Instagram tribute posted Friday evening after news of his death was announced.

“It was meant to be for Chadwick and me to be connected, for us to be family. But what many don’t know is our story began long before his historic turn as Black Panther. During the premiere party for Black Panther, Chadwick reminded me of something. He whispered that when I received my honorary degree from Howard University, his alma mater, he was the student assigned to escort me that day. And here we were, years later as friends and colleagues, enjoying the most glorious night ever!” she wrote on Instagram.

“We’d spent weeks prepping, working, sitting next to each other every morning in makeup chairs, preparing for the day together as mother and son. I am honored that we enjoyed that full circle experience. This young man’s dedication was awe-inspiring, his smile contagious, his talent unreal. So I pay tribute to a beautiful spirit, a consummate artist, a soulful brother…”thou aren’t not dead but flown afar…”. All you possessed, Chadwick, you freely gave. Rest now, sweet prince,” she added.

Bassett played Queen Ramonda, the mother to Boseman’s T’Challa, in “Black Panther.” She reprised the role for a cameo in 2019’s “Avengers: End Game.”

Boseman graduated from Howard University in 2000 with a BFA in Directing. Bassett was the commencement speaker and received an honorary doctorate.

He spoke about that event in a 2018 appearance on “Live with Kelly and Ryan,” shortly before he himself was the commencement speaker at the historically Black university.

“During my graduation actually, Angela Bassett received the honorary doctorate — she plays my mother in ‘Black Panther’ — so it’s sort of a full circle,” Boseman said.

“So think of someone in the audience who will play a role in your life after this commencement,” Seacrest said. “You’re going to play somebody’s dad,” Ripa added. Sadly, that never came to pass.

You can see Bassett’s Instagram post below followed by Boseman’s 2018 Howard University commencement speech: