Spike Lee Recalls ‘God’s Heavenly Light’ Shining On Chadwick Boseman In His Final Film: We Didn’t Have Light – It Was God Sending Heavenly Light On Him
In a new interview, Spike Lee is opening up about his time on set working with the late Chadwick Boseman on “Da 5 Bloods.” The film tells the story of four black war veterans who returned to Vietnam to look for their fallen squad leader and the gold he helped them hide. It was released on Netflix on June 12, 2020, and is one of Chadwick Boseman’s last roles movies before he died over the summer.
“I didn’t know Chad was sick.”
Adding that the movie was shot in poor air pollution and 100 degree weather in Thailand, he explains:
“He did not look well, but my mind never took that he had cancer. It was a very strenuous shoot. I mean, we all didn’t get to Vietnam until the end of the movie at Ho Chi Minh City. But that other stuff, the jungle stuff, was shot in Thailand. It was 100 degrees every day. It was also at that time the worst air pollution in the world.”
Spike says that he respects Chadwick Boseman for not revealing to him that he had cancer, and that had he known he would have taken it easier on him,
“I understand why Chadwick didn’t tell me because he didn’t want me to take it easy. If I had known, I wouldn’t have made him do the stuff. And I respect him for that.”
Spike Lee says that he recently re-watched “Da 5 Bloods” and saw Chadwick Boseman’s role in a different way.
He recalls a scene where his character “Stormin’” Norman Earl Holloway, is standing where natural light is beaming on him, but the scene was not lit. Spike Lee says it was ‘God’s Heavenly Light.’
“I felt it when we shot it, it was God’s heavenly light. We didn’t have light. You know, Delroy [Lindo] is talking to the camera, talking about his conversation with God? We go up, and we come down and we find this heavenly light. It’s Chadwick standing in that light, in that pose. That was God up there. I don’t care what nobody says. That was God’s heavenly light, because that scene’s not lit. That’s natural light. And that was God sending heavenly light on Chadwick.”
Spike Lee added:
“There’s a line in the movie where Clarke [Peters] says he’s the best damn soldier ever. And Chadwick was — is — a soldier. This is conjecture: There’s a possibility he thought this might be his last film. And God gave him one more with ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.’ But now looking at that, he was playing it. Stormin’ Norman says, ‘If I have to go out, I’m going gangbusters.’ And that’s what he did.”
Chadwick Boseman died at his home in Los Angeles on August 28th, with his wife and family by his side, after a 4 year battle with colon 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.”
What are your thoughts on Spike Lee seeing ‘God’s Heavenly Light’ shine on Chadwick Boseman? Tell us in the comments!