Windsor actor Ryan Mhlanga-Martin says the death of Chadwick Boseman has shaken him as the characters the actor portrayed made him seem invincible.
Boseman who was 43, was most recognized for playing Jackie Robinson, James Brown and Black Panther in the Marvel universe. The actor died Friday after a four year battle with colon cancer, his family said in a statement.
"Honestly I was shocked, I didn't think that someone like him could die," Mhlanga-Martin told CBC News.
"That seems kind of naive saying it out loud... but seeing him in inspirational films playing these historical figures...these people that, especially in the Black community we revered...seeing him play those characters you almost feel like he has this type of invincibility to him."
Others, like award-winning Windsor actor Leslie McCurdy, say that Boseman's death is all the more impactful during a time when the world is experiencing the Black Lives Matter movement.
"I think because he did play some very iconic roles and in particular the Black Panther, it became an iconic role and he played it so well and... the portrayal of African Americans and Africans in it was so positive and it gave everybody such a role model, something to look up to," McCurdy told CBC.
For Mhlanga-Martin, who says Boseman was one of the few actors he looked up to, he says he wants to continue to follow in the famous actor's footsteps.
"He gave people like us, us Black kids, a chance to dream," Mhlanga-Martine said. "He left a long road ahead of us for us young Black actors that want to follow in his footsteps. We have something to look up to, something to strive for to be that extraordinaire that Chadwick Boseman has achieved."
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