Like most of the world, I still am in so much shock over Chadwick Boseman’s unexpected passing.
Diagnosed with stage three colon cancer in 2016, the Black Panther star chose to undergo “countless surgeries and chemotherapy” away from the public eye. Sadly, the cancer progressed to stage five and on Saturday evening, it was announced the 43-year-old had passed away in his home with his wife and family by his side.
A reporter for the Huffington Post, named Matthew Jacobs tweeted a part of his 2017 interview with Boseman today. In it, he drew attention to one question where he asked the actor about his physical transformation between roles as Thurgood Marshall in Marshall and T’Challa in Black Panther.
Boseman’s response appears to hint at his illness.
“You came off of one Black Panther project, did Marshall and then made another Black Panther movie. Did you bulk up, slim down and then bulk up again,” Jacobs asked.
“[Nods his head, looking exhausted] Right. Yeah, yeah, yeah,” Boseman responds.
“You’ve been through the wringer,” the reporter said.
“Oh, you don’t even know [laughs],” Boseman responded. “You have no idea. One day I’ll live to tell the story.”
Tributes have been flowing in from around the world – little children having mock funerals for their superhero to Jimmy Fallon surprising fans with Boseman in person. Even Barack and Michelle Obama praised the change-maker.
There are two women, however, whose words stayed with me; Olivia Wilde and Issa Rae, both of whom said they couldn’t sleep because they were thinking of their dear friend.
“Couldn’t sleep last night after hearing the news of his passing,” wrote Wilde. “Can’t imagine what his family is going through. This feels like it should change everything. A new standard of being. Of working. Of persevering. We will work harder, and be better. We will be grateful for every day. We will lead with grace. Thank you for showing us the way.”
It’s an excellent reminder of setting the bar a little higher, even when things feel so much harder in the current climate. Further to this notion is Josh Gad’s Instagram post which is Boseman’s final text to him. It’s also worth a read.
Rae posted the most beautiful and thought-provoking tribute.
“Fell asleep crying. Woke up crying. I don’t know why this one hurts so badly,” she began. “Maybe it’s because we lost a literal Black superhero. Maybe it’s because your grace, class, kindness and dignity is so rare. Maybe it’s because you had to suffer in silence for so long, while some speculated, cruelly. Maybe it’s because we didn’t need to see another Black man’s life cut short. Maybe it’s because your Denzel-anointed legacy had so much more to offer. Maybe it’s because you felt like ours with every role you chose to embody. Maybe it’s because God wanted your light a bit closer.”
For me, it was because he brought us so many movies when he was so sick. I know Black Panther is the one being heroed right now – and rightfully so – but if anyone has seen his latest film 21 Bridges, you would know there are some really intense fighting scenes throughout. I just don’t know how he did it.
Rest in power.