Chadwick Boseman’s agent Michael Greene has broken his silence on his client’s death.
In his article for The Hollywood Reporter, he revealed how Boseman always stressed choosing roles that gave back to Black America. His conviction also led him to turn down roles he felt weren’t aligned with his mission, including a role in a slavery film with Tessa Thompson, also one of Greene’s clients at the time.
“I remember him and Tessa were offered a movie, it was about two slaves, and he was like, ‘I do not want to perpetuate slavery,'” Greene wrote. “It was like, ‘We’re not going to keep perpetuating the stereotypes,’ and that’s why he wanted to show men of strength and character.”
Greene talked about how Boseman handled his roles of real-life people with extreme care. Greene wrote that Boseman was offered the role of James Brown and still wanted to test for it. “[T]hey were like, ‘What are you talking about? We’re offering it to you.’ He said, ‘No, no. I want to make sure that you all think that I can do this because I have to do my own dancing.’ Two weeks later, we saw a tape and it was like, ‘Oh, yes, you can.’ He needed to talk to the James Brown family; before he did Marshall, he had to talk to John Marshall, the son. Because he was dark-skinned and didn’t want a lot of controversy, Chad wanted to make sure his son was OK about it. And his son wrote a letter that he’d be honored.”
He also touched on the role that Boseman and a teen Michael B. Jordan shared. “He stopped doing his first TV show, All My Children, which [a teenage] Michael B. Jordan took over. After Chad’s first script, they literally said, ‘Oh, here’s your next script, and your mother’s a crackhead and your father left.’ And he goes, ‘I’m not playing those images,’ and he went into the writers’ room, and they fired him.”
“It was always about bringing light,” Greene continued. “That’s why we never did really dark movies or movies that were just people shooting everybody and perpetuating darkness. He accomplished so much, and all while he was fighting the darkness, literally. Until the last couple of days of his life, he was fighting it.”
You can read Greene’s full remembrance at The Hollywood Reporter.