The late Chadwick Boseman won a posthumous Golden Globe for Best Actor for his stunning performance in Netflix's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. It was Boseman's first nomination. His wife, Taylor Simone Ledward, accepted the award on his behalf. "He would thank God. He would thank his parents. He would thank his ancestors for their guidance and their sacrifices," she said.
His Black Panther costar Angela Bassett also spoke about Boseman's legacy on the Golden Globes E! Live From the Red Carpet preshow. "His work still remains with us," Bassett told Giuliana Rancic. "He was an incredible individual, man, professional, artist. All of it."
Bassett also mentioned how she received an honorary doctorate from Boseman's alma mater, Howard University, while he was still a student and that he even served as her escort that weekend. Boseman never mentioned it to her. "We had worked for months, sitting next to each other in the makeup trailer," Bassett said. "He had never said anything about it. He just, I mean, he could hold his peace. He's just an incredible human being. His spirit still lives on."
Boseman passed away on August 28 at the age of 43 after a four-year battle with colon cancer. "A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much," his family said in the statement to the Associated Press. "From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom and several more - all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy. It was the honor of his career to bring King T'Challa to life in Black Panther."
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom was Boseman's final film, and director George C. Wolfe recalled one particularly emotional scene for Boseman to film, in which Boseman's character, Levee, has a major crisis of faith. "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," Wolfe told WSJ. "But he didn’t stop. He kept going, and Levee took over—it was raw and explosive. Afterward, Chadwick just started to sob, and Colman [Domingo, Boseman's costar] hugged him, and then Chadwick’s girlfriend basically picked him up."
Domingo also admitted that Boseman seemed preoccupied at times during filming. "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 jokingly asked him, "Oh, you're just not going to say hi to anybody?" He explained that Boseman smiled at the quip and made a point to shake his hand and give him a hug on set every day after that.