Denzel Washington “wondered if something was wrong” with Chadwick Boseman while they made his final film.
Denzel produced “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” which starred Viola Davis and the “Black Panther” actor in his final film role. The Netflix drama was released a few months after Boseman died in August 2020 at the age of 43 following a private battle with colon cancer.
During an interview with Variety, Denzel Washington admitted that he had no idea about the actor’s condition, but he suspected he wasn’t quite right.
“A man among men,” he said of Boseman. “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. 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.”
Chadwick Boseman didn’t disclose his condition to the vast majority of his co-workers during his four years battling the disease. He also completed production on Marshall and Da 5 Bloods following his diagnosis.
He was posthumously nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for his role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom but lost out to Anthony Hopkins for The Father.
Denzel Washington and Boseman have a long history – the Oscar winner famously paid for Chadwick Boseman to attend a prestigious summer acting program at Oxford University in England when he was a Howard University student in the late ’90s.