Film Firsts | Remembering Chadwick Boseman

Film Firsts | Remembering Chadwick Boseman

On August 28, 2020, the world lost talented actor Chadwick Boseman to a four-year battle with cancer. Not only did we all lose a superb artist, but more importantly, we lost a caring role model and a truly inspiring human being.

His ailments and struggles were kept secret from almost everyone. Yet, he continued to work and reach out to others suffering with cancer, putting his own plight on the backburner. He was resilient enough to show them strength when all along he was battling disease himself. Noble in real life and on the screen as a King, Chadwick Boseman was a symbol of hope to many of us.

In the past decade, Chadwick appeared as some of the most influential figures of the 20th century. Then, in 2016, he became the Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War, which opened the door to Wakanda as Black Panther became a worldwide phenomenon.

In honor of his memory, here are some of the MoviesMatrix team’s favorite performances of Chadwick Boseman. Yibambe!

42 (2013)

Chadwick Boseman was magnificent as Jackie Robinson in '42'.
Source: Warner Bros./Legendary Entertainment

Michael: My favorite role of Chadwick Boseman’s is Jackie Robinson in 42. This was such an important story to tell on the big screen and Boseman delivered it eloquently. With every word and action, Boseman shows incredible strength when facing adversity. His performance as the first African-American to play in the major leagues was truly incredible.

Ryan: Chadwick is a legend and always will be. Black Panther and 42 are two of my favorite roles that go hand-and-hand for me, and still resonate with me to this day.

Black Panther (2018)

Chadwick Boseman will always be Black Panther
Source: The Walt Disney Co./Marvel Studios

Logan: My favorite Chadwick Boseman performance is Black Panther. I’m a huge comic fan and Boseman did such an amazing job bringing King T’Challa to life. His best moment of the film was when he is in the Spirit Realm confronting his deceased father for his past mistakes. Chadwick is so powerful in his delivery. That scene still sticks with me because of its authenticity. He was such a great person and passed away at far too young of an age. I am going to miss him.

Da 5 Bloods (2020)

Chadwick Boseman's supporting role in Da 5 Bloods was great.
Source: 40 Acres and a Mule Productions/Netflix

Loretto: Chadwick’s screen time is limited in Spike Lee‘s latest joint Da 5 Bloods, but his presence for both the audience and the characters in the film is the absolute heart of the story.

To quote one of the main protagonists: “That brother was the best damn soldier that ever lived.”

That “best damn soldier” refers to Stormin’ Norman who is played with ferocious intensity and heart by Chadwick Boseman. He symbolically speaks up and fights for the all of the forgotten black voices in the United States’ long tragic war history.

*Spoiler*: For anyone that hasn’t seen it on Netflix yet, it is especially powerful and evocative now. The ghost of Stormin’ Norman is a haunting presence to one of the main cast members. Those sequences are absolutely chilling. His final scene is simultaneously heartbreaking and beautiful. It is definitely not an easy watch at this time.

Get On Up (2014)

Chadwick Boseman as James Brown was amazing, namely since he became the Godfather of Soul
Source: Imagine Entertainment/Jagged Films/Wyolah Films

Shawn: The only thing Chadwick Boseman and James Brown had in common was hailing from South Carolina (Anderson and Barnwell, respectively).

Chadwick wasn’t vocally trained and had two left feet prior to filming the acclaimed biopic of the Godfather of Soul. For two months, he spent five hours a day, six days a week in vocal and dance training just to resemble James Brown’s moves, gravely tone, and unique vocal range.

And he did it by surpassing expectations. Unfortunately, not many people saw that wonderful performance, but I’m sure that will change now.

He was an accomplished and dedicated actor for all of his TV and movie roles, but the transformation he underwent to become Mr. Dynamite was mesmerizing. It is difficult to pick something other than King T’Challa as his signature role, but that biopic made everyone “get on up” because they understood the commitment required to become James Brown.

Watch that movie and you’ll understand why Chadwick Boseman will always be a king…or a godfather in many fans’ eyes.


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Aspiring writer/director as well as a budding journalist. Been geeking out my entire life but have been analyzing film on a more serious level for nearly 18 years. Pick my brain on Twitter! @marsellusdurden
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