Chadwick Boseman’s Agent Shares Stories of the Late Actor’s Dedication and Commitment to Community

As the world continues to mourn the loss of Chadwick Boseman, his agent, Michael Greene, shared his memories of the actor with The Hollywood Reporter.

Greene discussed Boseman’s process in choosing roles, pursuing those that would have a positive effect on the Black community:

The amount of time that we strategized over whether he should do a role for the better of humanity — it was always about utilizing his platform. “How can I give back? How will this be valuable to the Black community, and the community at large?” He was always, “What will I be able to tell through this role?” That’s how we chose almost all his roles. Somebody once said, “He’s playing a lot of biopic people.” We said, “It didn’t hurt Leonardo DiCaprio.”

He also mentioned the work Boseman put into arguably his most popular film, Black Panther, insisting on authenticity in T’Challa’s accent and the African setting.

He was very much about telling new stories and having new images — that’s why he took Black Panther. After he’d been hired, he said, “I will only do this with an African accent.” They were like, “Well, no, we want it to be South African.” He said, “I’m a king of Africa. I’m going with the customs that we fought and fought and fought for.” It was that kind of detail. He was like, “I’m going to make sure that everything is accurate, that we’re telling the story a certain way.” Every single day, he and Ryan [Coogler, Black Panther director], were talking about what it meant to the culture and how important the scenes were. They almost didn’t do the waterfall scene, and Chad just fought so hard and said, “This is historical and the people need to be dancing with African music.” He had learned Xhosa on Captain America with the actor who played his father [John Kani], and he said he would only do Black Panther if he could do it with an African man’s voice and dialect. He was willing to walk away from anything that became too rushed or was not going to be handled beautifully.

Boseman also worked to be a role model to children, refusing to compromise that image:

There was a strong interest after Black Panther to do a branding opportunity. Somebody came to us and said, “Do you want to have equity in a liquor company like George Clooney and a lot of the others have done?” He said, “I can’t, because how can I show young Black kids and kids of color that they can be superheroes, [then do this]?”

Green closed his remembrance by talking about how his client strove to set a good example in the film industry:

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.

Boseman passed away on August 28th after a four-year battle with colon cancer.

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