Denzel Washington Reflects On Chadwick Boseman Hiding His Illness During Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Denzel Washington has touched so many actors in varying ways. One of those was late Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman – both directly and indirectly. While the two stars never shared the screen, Washington produced Boseman in the acclaimed Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, which scored Boseman a posthumous Oscar nomination. Like many people in Hollywood, the two-time Oscar winner wasn’t aware of the late star’s cancer battle until his untimely passing. Now The Tragedy of Macbeth star has reflected on Boseman hiding his illness during production.

The A Journal for Jordan director and Chadwick Boseman shared a special bond after the former funded the latter’s Oxford education. It would be years before the two stars would connect. But when they did, there was a mutual love and respect between the two men after meeting in person. Unfortunately, their time together was short. Denzel Washington revealed to Variety what Boseman was like on the set of Ma Rainey despite his cancer battle.

A man among men. He suffered quietly. He made the movie, and nobody knew. I didn’t know. He never said a peep about it. He just did his job. I wondered if something was wrong because he seemed weak or tired sometimes. We had no idea, and it was nobody’s business. Good for him, keeping it to himself.

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