The actor, who lost his battle with cancer in August (2020), filmed Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, about a group of black jazz musicians, in the summer of 2019, and co-star Colman Domingo has shared an incredibly emotional moment with the actor during one scene.
“No one knew (he was ill),” Colman told U.S. chat show host Kelly Clarkson, “and I’ll tell you this now that my friend Chad has passed, I think I realize in perspective why he played so many superheroes and iconic men in our culture. It’s because that man was truly a shaman, he was very much a king.
“There was one moment we had. We were shooting a scene that is about God’s will, and it’s these two characters, mine and his, wrestling with, ‘What is God’s will and why do bad things happens to good people?’ And at some point, he (Chadwick) couldn’t get through the scene because it was bringing up something real, as we hope it does as an actor. And in that moment, I saw he was struggling, and I’ve never done this before but I said, ‘Tell me, tell me,’ and he exploded. You’ll see that scene in the film.
“I don’t know what he was wrestling with but it was a question of faith that was in the room and George Wolfe, our phenomenal director, called ‘Cut’ and we embraced each other and we sobbed. The thing we hope as artists is that something else is at work in the room and, hopefully, I believe that we, as a company…, helped Chadwick get through this film.”
And looking back now, the Selma star can’t believe the performance Boseman pulled off when he was so ill.
“This man had superhuman strength,” he adds. “It (shoot) was hard on me. I don’t know how he did it.”