Director Spike Lee paid tribute to Chadwick Boseman on Saturday after news of his passing began to spread. Boseman died on Friday night after a prolonged and private battle with colon cancer. His role in Lee's Da 5 Bloods was ultimately one of the last performances of his life.
Lee spoke out about Boseman at his annual Brooklyn ♥ MJ block party on Saturday — an event he hosts in honor of Michael Jackson's birthday. This year's virtual event began with a performance of Jackson's "Gone Too Soon," dedicated to Boseman. Lee then spoke a bit more about his relationship with the actor and his perspective on Boseman's rising talent.
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"We filmed Da 5 Bloods in Thailand, and it was hot, jungles, mountains, and Chadwick was there with us all the way," he said. "I never, ever suspected that anything was wrong... Chadwick, a trooper, never complained. He was there every single minute in the moment. And his performance is a testament to what he put into that role, and all his roles."
Lee's movie follows a group of Vietnam War veterans returning to the country, ostensibly to locate the remains of their fallen friend "Stormin' Norman." Boseman played the young Norman alongside the otherwise older cast. In reality, they are looking for a trove of gold they hid in the war zone with Norman all those years earlier.
Lee even shared a deleted scene from the movie on Instagram, where Boseman's character sings Marvin Gaye's song "God Is Love." He admitted that it was hard to cut, and it came to mind when he heard the tragic news about Boseman.
"That scene got me when we were shooting it. Watching that again this morning just tore me up," Lee said. "Miss you, Chadwick."0comments
Lee was not the only one who did not know about Boseman's condition. According to his family, he was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016, but he opted to keep it a secret from fans. As he rose to international stardom over the last few years, even some of his closest colleagues knew nothing about his treatment.
That included Black Panther director Ryan Coogler, who wrote a raw tribute to Boseman for The Hollywood Reporter on Sunday. The eulogy praised Boseman for his strength and determination and left little doubt that he will remain a cultural icon for years to come.