Dan Aykroyd Remembers 'Get on Up' Co-Star Chadwick Boseman (Exclusive)

Aykroyd says learning of Boseman's death 'felt like a sword went through me.'

Dan Aykroyd says learning of Chadwick Boseman's death "felt like a sword went through me." The 68-year-old actor co-starred with Boseman in 2014's Get on Up, playing manager Ben Bart to Boseman's James Brown. 

"I couldn't move," Aykroyd tells ET's Rachel Smith of the moment he found out about Boseman's death on Friday. "I mean, I just buckled over. Why him?" 

Boseman died after a four-year battle with colon cancer, but never spoke about his illness publicly. He was 43. 

"He was such a beautiful individual, a soul through and through, and the bravery...," Aykroyd says, noting how Boseman especially inspired the Black community through his career. "This time in America, it's just like, kicking Black people when they're down. Thanks a lot. What's the universe saying? A lot of us, we have to smarten up." 

ET was on the set of Get on Up as Boseman transformed into the Godfather of Soul. Aykroyd still has fond memories of filming the movie together in Mississippi, noting how Boseman went out of his way to be kind to others on set. 

The actors also spent time bonding on long drives out to the country, having in-depth discussions about "the brave people who fought for civil rights in that part of the state," how far the fight for racial justice had come, and what still needed to be done. "We're all gonna have to work to make a difference," Aykroyd says. 

Aykroyd also knew Brown personally, as the legendary singer was in 1980's Blues Brothers. He's sure Brown, who died in 2006, would have been a big fan of Boseman's performance. 

"He would've loved it, and totally approved of it," he shares. "James loved talent of all kinds and to see this incredible actor portrayed, he would've liked it. ... I miss him a lot." 

Aykroyd appears on pal Jim Belushi's docuseries, Growing Belushi, which documents the latter's cannabis empire. All episodes are available to stream on the Discovery app.