Spike Lee has broken his silence on Chadwick Boseman in a new Variety interview.
“I didn’t know Chad was sick,” said Lee, who directed Boseman in Da 5 Bloods. “He did not look well, but my mind never took that he had cancer. It was a very strenuous shoot.”
Lee said that shooting the film in Thailand and Vietnam included extreme heat and poor air conditions.
“It was 100 degrees every day. It was also at that time the worst air pollution in the world. I understand why Chadwick didn’t tell me because he didn’t want me to take it easy,” said Lee. “If I had known, I wouldn’t have made him do the stuff. And I respect him for that.”
Lee also commented on the part of the film in which Boseman’s character, Stormin’ Norman, is shown in angelic white light. Lee said he “felt it” as he was shooting the scene.
“It was God’s heavenly light,” he said. “We didn’t have light. You know, Delroy [Lindo] is talking to the camera, talking about his conversation with God? We go up, and we come down and we find this heavenly light. It’s Chadwick standing in that light, in that pose. That was God up there. I don’t care what nobody says. That was God’s heavenly light, because that scene’s not lit. That’s natural light. And that was God sending heavenly light on Chadwick.”
You can read the full profile on Lee and his experiences with Da 5 Bloods at Variety.
Boseman died in August from stage 4 colon cancer. He was 43 years old.