Chadwick Boseman shot the Spike Lee-directed movie Da 5 Bloods before his death (Picture: Getty Images for WarnerMedia)
Spike Lee has opened up on filming with Chadwick Boseman before his death, saying he ‘didn’t want shortcuts’.
Boseman chose not to disclose his illness to his co-stars and fans, instead battling it in private.
Speaking alongside George C Wolfe, who directed the actor in the Netflix movie Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Lee said he didn’t know he was ill.
‘I did not know. I asked George, George didn’t know. I asked Ryan Coogler, he said he didn’t know,’ Lee told The Hollywood Reporter. ‘We didn’t know. There was a very small circle that knew he was not going to be here that much longer, and I understand why he did not want people to know.
‘If I would have known, the first battle sequence in [Da 5 Bloods] is 100 degrees and we had the shots where he has to run 50 yards like Usain Bolt. I mean, he has to haul it.
Spike Lee opened up about directing Chadwick Boseman (Picture: Getty Images)
‘If he tells me that, automatically I’m not going to make him, I’m not going to push him as hard as I can. He did not want any shortcuts. Any special treatment, didn’t want it.’
Da 5 Bloods follows a group of African-American army veterans, who return to Vietnam to find the remains of their fallen squad leader, and the gold fortune he helped them to hide.
Boseman starred alongside Delroy Lindo, Jonathan Majors, Clarke Peters, and Norm Lewis in the drama, which was released last year.
The actor’s family confirmed his death last August with a heartbreaking tribute, explaining that he had been diagnosed with stage three colon cancer in 2016, and that it had progressed to stage four.
Recently, Boseman’s wife Simone Ledward accepted his Gotham Award on his behalf, thanking him in a tearful speech.
Boseman was honoured for his portrayal of trumpeter Leevee in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
Holding back tears, Ledward said in a video: ‘He is the most honest person I’d ever met. He didn’t just stop at speaking the truth, he actively searched for it in himself, in those around him and in the moment.
‘The truth can be a very easy thing for the self to avoid but if one does not live in truth, then it’s impossible to live in line with a divine purpose for your life.
‘And so it became how he lived his life, day in, day out, imperfect but determined. In doing so he was able to give himself over fully to every moment, to be totally present in his own life and in the lives of the people he became.’
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