Thursday, September 16, 2021

Viola Davis Admits She ‘Broke Down’ After ‘Ma Rainey’ Co-Star Chadwick Boseman Died

Chadwick, Viola
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM/NETFLIX

*In an interview with Yahoo Entertainment, Viola Davis admits to breaking down when she heard Chadwick Boseman died after a four year private battle with colon cancer. 

“I broke down when I heard he passed,” she said. “Lord knows we all would’ve wanted him to live another 50 years. We all want longevity. But I can’t see his life tragically at all. … Because I felt like he was always living in the moment, squeezing out every bit of life. What it makes me think is, it’s not the quantity, it’s the quality.”

Boseman died in August at 43. 

“What I hold onto with Chad is that he lived his life his way,” Davis said. “I would say his professional life as absolutely paralleled his personal life, that’s my guess, in terms of how he lived with the utmost integrity.”

READ MORE: Denzel Washington Reveals He Told Chadwick Boseman to Wed Longtime Girlfriend

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, viola davisDavis and Boseman star in the Denzel Washington-produced “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” based on August Wilson’s award-winning play. 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). Boseman plays an ambitious trumpeter named Levee. 

The cast and crew did not know during filming that Boseman had been undergoing cancer treatment. 

Davis previously called the “Black Panther” star a “hero.” 

“There’s a part of the public that’s gonna associate that with Black Panther; I do not,” Davis told The Guardian in a recent interview. “I associate that with his authenticity, especially in the midst of a profession that sometimes can suck that out of you.”

The Oscar-winning actress said Boseman “was a person who lived a life bigger than themselves.”

“I think that his legacy, his body of work, his integrity, is going to influence generations upon generations to come,” Davis added.

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” is Boseman’s last performance on screen and is now streaming on Netflix.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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