Star of 'Black Panther' reveals Denzel Washington paid for his acting classes - and finally gets to thank him

'I've basically been holding this secret my whole career'

Denzel Washington is the secret reason why Chadwick Boseman is such a great actor.

On the Oscars red carpet, Boseman declined to get into the details. But on NBC's "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" on Wednesday, the "Black Panther" star explained that Washington paid part of his tuition through a scholarship program while he took a summer class studying drama at Oxford University.

"I've basically been holding this secret my whole career. When I came back, I got a beneficiary letter and it said Denzel Washington paid for you," Boseman said.

Boseman said he didn't want to say anything publicly unless he had become more successful. He first told the story in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine published in February.

"I'm sure he has no idea. It was random," Boseman said. "I couldn't wait to write my thank-you letter! ... I've been waiting to meet him, so I can tell him."

Since the article was published, Boseman had the chance to meet Washington. Boseman told Fallon that he joked about it.

"Oh, so that's why I'm here - you owe me money!" Washington told Boseman. "I came to collect!"

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