On August 28, 2020, the world lost one of it’s most precious souls. Actor and producer Chadwick Boseman died at the age of 43 after a battle with colon cancer. The death came as a shock to many, as Boseman kept his health condition out of the public eye.
Many are mourning; however, there are also many who are remembering Boseman’s excellence on the big screen. We want to celebrate Boseman’s brilliant career and the impact that he made in Hollywood.
Here is a list of the 5 biggest roles Chadwick Boseman has played on the big screen.
5. Da 5 Bloods
“Da 5 Bloods” is an American war drama. The film, which was directed by Spike Lee, focuses on a group of Vietnam war veterans who return to Vietnam to find the remains of their dead Squad Leader. While in Vietnam, the group of veterans also look for the treasure they buried while serving there. In the film, Boseman plays “Stormin’ Norman,” the Squad Leader whose presence guides the actions of the rest of the main characters throughout the movie.
Being released in June of this year, “Da 5 Bloods” marks Boseman’s most recent film. Many fans cannot bring themselves to watch “Da 5 Bloods” now knowing that his final scene in the film is comparable to Boseman’s death and his 4-year-battle with colon cancer. Boseman filmed several of his iconic roles, including “Da 5 Bloods,” while silently battling cancer. Much like Norman, Boseman resiliently took care of his family, friends, and fans, despite enduring hardships of his own.
One thing that Chadwick Boseman did not have was a shortage of playing iconic historical figures. In one of his most popular roles, Boseman played NAACP lawyer Thurgood Marshall in the 2017 biopic “Marshall.” The film covered one of Marshall’s earliest cases the State of Connecticut v. Joseph Spell, and displayed a captivating performance by Boseman.
The performance Boseman puts on his riveting. As Marshall, Boseman showcases his ability to convey emotion, power and intellect. All three of these abilities are important for the roles he had yet to play.
3. Get on Up
Some would consider taking on the role of the Godfather of Soul to be a challenging one, but Chadwick made it look effortless. Released in 2014, “Get on Up” is a biographical drama that follows the life of James Brown. The film covers decades of Brown’s life, occassionally breaking the fourth wall while following Brown’s perception of the events going on around him.
This role was undoubtedly a high-stakes one, but Boseman showed that he was up for the task. Throughout the film, he oozed swagger and style, earning himself nominations for Best Actor. Overall, the film was highly successful, raking in several nominations and wins, and is considered one of Boseman’s best performances today.
Boseman passed on the day that Major League Baseball was hosting Jackie Robinson Day festivities. Strangely enough, Boseman played Robinson in the 2013 film “42,” which covered the professional career of the baseball phenom. MLB released a statement on Boseman’s death which said “We are devastated by the tragic loss of Chadwick Boseman. His transcendent performance in ’42’ will stand the test of time and serve as a powerful vehicle to tell Jackie’s story to audiences for generations to come.”
The role of Jackie Robinson was arguably one of Boseman’s most emotional performances. In an interview with MovieClips Boseman expressed the importance of the role he was playing because Jackie Robinson played a significant part in “American history.” This role would be the first of many historical figures Boseman would play. Furthermore, it alluded to his position in the film industry to unite Black storytelling with mainstream culture.
1. Black Panther
Wakanda forever! Despite Boseman’s long filmography, is no doubt that his best and most popular performance was Marvel’s 2018 blockbuster “Black Panther.” The film followed the journey of T’Challa, the new ruler of the fictional country of Wakanda, as he attempted to protect his country, family, and throne.
“Black Panther” played a pivotal role in the celebration of Black culture in mainstream media and Black cinematography. There is no doubt that Boseman, who spent most of his career playing historical Black icons, was a perfect fit for the role of T’Challa and movement that “Black Panther” would bring. It was a huge responsibility; nevertheless, Boseman mastered it, even though at this time he was battling cancer.
“…the film shattered box office records when it debuted in Feb. 2018. “Black Panther” grossed over $1.3 billion worldwide, forever exposing the pernicious untruth in Hollywood that movies with predominantly Black casts won’t gross well overseas.” The film’s success was a collective effort; however, a lot of the credit goes to Boseman’s brilliant performance as T’Challa. This is a role that solidified Boseman’s status as a powerful performer and a hero in the hearts of billions.
Which one of Chadwick’s performances is your favourite?
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