Sunday, May 29, 2022

Denzel Washington Was Concerned About Chadwick Boseman’s Health During Filming

Denzel, Chadwick

*Denzel Washington says he was concerned about Chadwick Boseman’s health while filming “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” the late actor’s last film role.

Boseman died in August 2020 after a private 4-year battle with colon cancer. 

“A man among men. He suffered quietly. He made the movie, and nobody knew. I didn’t know. He never said a peep about it. He just did his job,” said Washington in a new interview with Variety. “I wondered if something was wrong because he seemed weak or tired sometimes. We had no idea, and it was nobody’s business. Good for him, keeping it to himself.” 

In 2018, Boseman revealed that Washington paid for him to study acting at Oxford for a summer while he was attending Howard University. In an interview with Jimmy Fallon, Boseman recalled the moment when he finally got the chance to meet the legendary actor to thank him.

READ MORE: Chadwick Boseman’s Brother Supports Recast of T’Challa in Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’

“I did an exchange while at was Howard, over the summer. A group of us from Howard did it,” he told Fallon at the time. “Phylicia Rashad, she basically taught a class once a week while we were at Howard, and she wanted us to do this exchange. I didn’t have money to pay for this so she got a few of her friends together and they paid for us to go.”

Washington jokingly told Late Show host Stephen Colbert in 2018 that he asked Boseman to reimburse him for the school costs. 

“I went to the premiere for Black Panther here in New York,” Denzel said, “and I saw Ryan Coogler and Chad and he said, ‘Oh, I just wanted to thank you for paying…’ I said, ‘Yeah that’s why I’m here.’ I like the movie Black Panther, yeah, good, Wakanda forever, but where’s my money?”

In a statement after Boseman’s death, Washington said the actor “was a gentle soul and a brilliant artist who will stay with us for eternity through his iconic performances over his short yet illustrious career. God bless Chadwick Boseman.”

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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