*Netflix dropped the first trailer for the upcoming “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” on Monday, along with a conversation with star Viola Davis and director George C. Wolfe.
The film is based on August Wilson’s award-winning play from producer Denzel Washington.
The official synopsis from Netflix reads; “Tensions and temperatures rise over the course of an afternoon recording session in 1920s Chicago as a band of musicians await trailblazing performer, the legendary Mother of the Blues, Ma Rainey (Academy Award winner Viola Davis).” The late Chadwick Boseman plays an ambitious trumpeter named Levee.
Boseman died in August after a private battle with colon cancer. He was 43.
During the “Ma Rainey” preview event this week, Davis described the “Black Panther” star as the epitome of “an artist.”
“That’s just who he was,” she said, reminding viewers she played his mother in “Get On Up.”
“Chadwick is my baby,” said Davis.
Davis went on to say, “We are in the business, that a lot of times people have business conversations that masquerade themselves as artistic conversations. They don’t understand the difference between getting on set and demanding their vegan food being brought to them or their vegetarian dishes, or the dietary concerns, having that car ready. They don’t know the difference between that and making choices as an actor and getting down and dirty and doing the work and leaving your ego and your vanity at the door. He loved it. He demanded it.” she added, “He demanded it in every single way.”
Wolfe said of casting Boseman, “Chadwick put his entire being into Levee and Levee demands that because of the scale of the role. He put every ounce of his heart and passion into it.”
Davis also praised Washington for honoring Wilson’s legacy. The actor also produced “Fences” and plans to bring nine of Wilson’s plays to the small screen.
“August lets us talk as people of color. I think other people may look at it and say, ‘Why do they go on and on and on?’ My whole thing is why not? We have a lot to say. There has been a muzzle placed on those for so long. This work has got to be in the hands of a great artist,” Davis said.
“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” premieres Dec. 18 on Netflix.