Viola Davis Talked About Working With Chadwick Boseman


“It’s like what Issa Rae said: He was ours as African-Americans.”

The late, great actor Chadwick Boseman’s final film appearance will be in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, which hits Netflix on December 18.

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Directed by George C. Wolfe, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is based off August Wilson’s Tony-winning play of the same name.

Boseman stars in the film alongside Viola Davis, who recently opened up about working with him in an InStyle cover story.


David Lee / Netflix

Davis also acted with Boseman in the 2014 James Brown biopic Get on Up.

“He was a beautiful man and a great artist,” she stated. “It’s like what Issa Rae said: He was ours as African-Americans.”

“He was someone who had a quality that very few have today, whether young or old, which is a total commitment to the art form of acting. Regardless of ego, regardless of any of it. He was with the same agent he had when he started his career.”


Universal / D Stevens / Courtesy Everett Collection

Davis also opened up about Boseman’s tendency to shy away from what she referred to as “celebrity treatment.”


Kristin Callahan/Everett Collection

“He hated that. He really did,” she said. “We actually had a little discussion about that. He said, ‘Viola, I don’t mind the work. I don’t mind all the hours. It’s the other stuff that exhausts me.'”


David Crotty / Patrick McMullan / Getty Images

“He hated the celebrity part,” Davis claimed, before admitting that he was far from alone. “I have to say, we all do. Because we have to be a persona that we just don’t know.”

Davis’ words echo those of Boseman’s former colleagues like Black Panther co-star Letitia Wright, who wrote in a tribute that he was “A soul so beautiful, when you walked into a room, there was calm.”


Kevin Winter / Getty Images

As Davis, Wright, and many others continue to testify, Boseman was an irreplaceable talent that will continue to be missed.


Walt Disney Co. / courtesy Everett Collection

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