Chadwick Boseman died on Aug. 28 at the age of 43. He had been battling colon cancer for four years, according to a statement from his family. Yet, he continued to work in movies between surgeries and chemotherapy. Those projects included Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
Showbiz Cheat Sheet had the opportunity to attend the press junket for 21 Bridges, Boseman’s first movie after playing T’Challa three in three consecutive films (following his introduction in Captain America: Civil War.) At the Nov. 2019 junket, Boseman told the story of Black Panther fans getting in the way of his work with their overwhelming enthusiasm.
Chadwick Boseman was already getting used to meeting ‘Black Panther’ fans
When Boseman was filming 21 Bridges, his appearances in Captain America: Civil War and Black Panther had already been released. So, he was used to kids coming up to him.
“All the time,” Boseman said at the junket. “That’s what I’m saying about the impact. You never know exactly what it is for them but whatever it is is cool.”
‘Black Panther’ fans stalked the ‘21 Bridges’ shoot
In 21 Bridges, Boseman plays a New York cop. They filmed a little in New York and mostly in Philadelphia. Boseman said Black Panther fans found them. He appreciated their interest but also had to focus on his work.
“People definitely showed up,” Boseman said. “It’s cool but it also makes it difficult when you’re trying to do something else. So there’s a place for it. It really is hard because we’re trying to hide what’s happening in the movie.”
Chadwick Boseman was less welcoming to paparazzi
It’s one thing for Black Panther fans to want to see Boseman. He had less patience for paparazzi just trying to get some shots to sell.
“We had a paparazzi literally jump into a shot,” Boseman said. “He was in the shot. He was trying to get a shot and he was in the shot. He was in the scene now. I’m trying to play like this moment, the silent moment and see. I hear Sienna like, ‘What the…? You’re in the shot.’”
Sienna Miller played Boseman’s partner in 21 Bridges. She actually stepped in.
“She’s going on him because he’s breaking our code as performers and artists,” Boseman said. “You’re sullying the experience right now and you’re going to sully it because you’re going to spoil the movie. That’s hard. She was great though. Made him feel bad. If he has a heart, he felt something.”
The success of ‘Black Panther’ comes with pros and cons, must mostly pros
Ultimately, Boseman accepted the good and the less good that came along with the success of Black Panther. Even though the film made $1.35 billion worldwide, that was only the beginning of the impact it had.
“The impact of Panther is more important than the amount of money it made or whatever,” Boseman said. “Even that it was part of an awards campaign, which is not a normal thing for a superhero movie. That is a height. I can’t deny that because I felt it sitting there at the Oscars. I felt okay, this is a thing. Not just because it was a superhero movie, because it was black people in a superhero movie.”
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