Chadwick Boseman’s final film Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is currently playing in select cities and hits Netflix on Dec. 18. Director George C. Wolfe opened up about an emotional moment the actor, who passed away of colon cancer in August.
Wolfe told WSJ. Magazine that Boseman, who plays trumpet player Levee, was performing a powerful monologue with co-star Colman Domingo.
“We were doing it in a very casual way, and I assumed that when Levee got to the big speech that Chadwick was going to stop. But he didn’t stop. He kept going, and Levee took over—it was raw and explosive,” Wolfe explained.
“Afterwards, Chadwick just started to sob, and Colman hugged him, and then Chadwick’s girlfriend basically picked him up.”
Domingo also reflected on Boseman, “I could tell with Chad sometimes, he had something on his mind. He’d walk into a room and he wouldn’t speak to anyone.”
Domingo said he would joke with Boseman, “Oh, you’re just not going to say hi to anybody?” Domingo said he smiled and made sure to give him a handshake and a hug every day on set.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is an adaptation of the 1982 August Wilson play about the legendary blues singer from Chicago. The film takes us back to 1927 as we follow Rainey and a group of musicians working through a Chicago recording session. Known as the “Mother of the Blues,” Rainey was one of the first blues artists to record her work.
The film is already getting Oscar buzz. Watch the trailer below: