Chadwick Boseman Once Turned Down Slavery Film W/ Tessa Thompson: We’re Not Going To Keep Perpetuating Stereotypes
Fans and loved ones are still in shock at the passing of Black Panther actor Chadwick Boseman. His agent Michael Greene has now come forward and spoken out about his career, adding that Chadwick Boseman would turn down roles that didn’t align with his mission. At one point, he even said no to a potential slavery movie with actress Tessa Thompson.
“I remember him and Tessa 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.”
Greene added that Chadwick Boseman handled the roles of real-life people he played with extra care. Recalling a time when Chadwick Boseman requested to speak to James Brown and John Marshall’s families before taking on the legendary roles, Greene said:
“[T]hey were like, ‘What are you talking about? We’re offering it to you.’ He said, ‘No, no. I want to make sure that you all think that I can do this because I have to do my own dancing.’ Two weeks later, we saw a tape and it was like, ‘Oh, yes, you can.’ He needed to talk to the James Brown family; before he did Marshall, he had to talk to John Marshall, the son. Because he was dark-skinned and didn’t want a lot of controversy, Chad wanted to make sure his son was OK about it. And his son wrote a letter that he’d be honored.”
Boseman died on Friday, Aug. 28th, after a secret four-year battle with colon cancer. Besides family, Boseman reportedly only told a very small group of people, about his battle with cancer.
His family said in a statement:
“A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much. From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several more – all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy. It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther.”
Greene also touched on a role that Boseman shared with a teenage Michael B. Jordan, who later went on to play his arch-nemesis in Black Panther and became like a brother to him in real life. Greene said Boseman was fired for turning down a role where his mother would be a crackhead and he would have an absent father.
“He stopped doing his first TV show, All My Children, which [a teenage] Michael B. Jordan took over. After Chad’s first script, they literally said, ‘Oh, here’s your next script, and your mother’s a crackhead and your father left.’ And he goes, ‘I’m not playing those images,’ and he went into the writers’ room, and they fired him.”
“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.”
What are your thoughts on Chadwick Boseman turning down roles that didn’t align with his mission? Let us know in the comments!