John Singleton

John Singleton at the Academy Awards in February. In 1992, he became the first African-American filmmaker, and the youngest person ever, to be nominated for a best-director Oscar, for “Boyz N the Hood.”

LOS ANGELES — “Snowfall” co-executive producer and co-creator John Singleton was in the hearts and minds of cast members who gathered Monday on the red carpet for the premiere of the third season of the FX crime drama.

Singleton, 51, died in late April following a stroke while the new season was still in production. Actress Angela Lewis said Singleton was a constant presence on the set, helping pick the cast and crew, and offering advice. She called him “the heart of the show.”

Star Damson Idris, who portrays drug dealer Franklin Saint, said Singleton left the series in great shape and in good hands. “The crew is fully diverse,” Idris said. “He hand-picked everyone and he empowered people. He left people so many codes and he left us with the confidence to go on.”

The drama, set in the 1980s, revolves around the first crack epidemic in Los Angeles.

“Snowfall” was Singleton’s “baby,” said actor Isaiah John. “He always said that this story has never been told. And he wanted to be the one to tell that story.”

Actor Carter Hudson, who portrays an undercover CIA operative, observed there is little time to mourn while shooting a TV series.

“You don’t have a choice but to keep going,” he explained. “I guess I hope that he’s proud of the way we finished it. I hope he’s proud of what we can do going forward,” Hudson said.

The actors view themselves as survivors who are left to carry on.

“Let’s just be real: He’s missed already,” said actor Amin Joseph. “John would have come out here already, like, ‘Come on, y’all! Come on! Let’s go. Let’s go!’”

The third season of “Snowfall” debuts Wednesday.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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