Chadwick Boseman will be best remembered for playing the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Black Panther, with his status as the leading man of a massive box office success that broke down barriers in the industry and marked a seismic shift in how Hollywood viewed their approach to big budget blockbusters ensuring his legacy. But the 43 year-old also made a concerted effort to choose roles that challenged him as an actor while also representing his beliefs and principles.
Boseman only had the chance to make fifteen movies before his sudden and unexpected death from colon cancer, but he’d already carved out a reputation for playing multi-faceted characters, and he gained the most widespread acclaim for inhabiting real life figures. After doing arguably the best work of his career in breakthrough Jackie Robinson biopic 42, he went on to star as music industry legend James Brown in Get On Up and as pioneering Civil Rights activist and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in Marshall.
In a recent interview to honor the memory of his longtime friend, Boseman’s manager Michael Greene admitted that his client was very particular about the projects that he signed on for, and refused to even read the script for a slavery movie because he was adamant that he wouldn’t appear in anything that reinforced or further perpetuated racial stereotypes.
“I remember him and Tessa Thompson were offered a movie, it was about two slaves, and he was like, ‘I do not want to perpetuate slavery’. It was like, ‘We’re not going to keep perpetuating the stereotypes’, and that’s why he wanted to show men of strength and character. It was always about bringing light. That’s why we never did really dark movies or movies that were just people shooting everybody and perpetuating darkness. He accomplished so much, and all while he was fighting the darkness, literally. Until the last couple of days of his life, he was fighting it.”
Such was Chadwick Boseman‘s dedication and commitment that he was gearing up to start training for his return as T’Challa in Black Panther II as soon as this month, and was convinced right up until his final moments that not only would he beat the cancer that would ultimately take his life, but it wouldn’t adversely affect his career in the slightest.