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How Chadwick Boseman Brought ‘Grace and Grit’ to His Final Film Roles

*As part of its Oscar Nominations Preview 2021 digital issue, TheWrap magazine published a piece on how Chadwick Boseman brought ‘grace and grit’ to his final film roles. | Photo Credit Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times

In the piece Spike Lee, Colman Domingo, Delroy Lindo and others pay tribute to the charismatic actor who is picking up posthumous nominations and awards.

Less than six months after dying unexpectedly of colon cancer, a disease he’d hidden from almost everybody since he received the diagnosis in 2016, Boseman’s remarkable performances in “Ma Rainey “and “Da 5 Bloods” won him the Actors Tribute at this year’s Gotham Awards, along with an array of critics’ prizes and the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama for “Ma Rainey.”

He received a record-breaking four film nominations at the Screen Actors Guild Awards; two of them came for his individual performances in “Da 5 Bloods” and “Ma Rainey” and two as part of those films’ ensemble casts.

Highlights from the piece include:

  • Spike Lee on casting Boseman in “Da 5 Bloods”: “Let’s look at the roles he played: Jackie Robinson, James Brown, Thurgood Marshall and the Black Panther,” Lee told TheWrap in a recent interview. “When Kevin Wilmott and I wrote Stormin’ Norman, we wanted him to be this mythic character. So think about the names I just said. (Boseman) just shows up, people buy that he’s mythic already.”

  • “Ma Rainey” co-star Colman Domingo on Boseman: “He was a great teammate…There was not one sign of illness. I look at him as my colleague and friend, but I admire him even more because he not only took care of himself, he protected us as well. He just wanted to show up and do the work.”

  • “Da 5 Bloods,” co-star Delroy Lindo on his experience with Boseman: “Whether Chad passed or not, I think I would be referencing the grace that I witnessed him exhibit,” he said. “Grace as an actor, as a human being, as a man. And he brought what I’ve come to identify for myself as grace and grit and determination to the work effortlessly.”

You can read TheWrap’s full piece here.



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