Denzel Washington is revealing in a new interview that he was worried about Chadwick Boseman’s health prior to his death.
In a conversation with Variety, Washington said Boseman’s health was a concern during the production of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, that late actor’s last film. He also mentioned that no one was aware that Boseman was ill.
Washington served as a producer for the Netflix film starring Viola Davis.
“A man among men. He suffered quietly. He made the movie, and nobody knew. I didn’t know. He never said a peep about it. He just did his job,” said Washington. “I wondered if something was wrong because he seemed weak or tired sometimes. We had no idea, and it was nobody’s business. Good for him, keeping it to himself.”
Washington and Boseman’s off screen friendship had several poignant moments including the A Journal For Jordan director telling the Black Panther star to marry his wife, Taylor Simone Ledward.
The 67-year-old also once unknowingly paid Boseman’s tuition while he was attending Howard University.
During the ABC special “Chadwick Boseman: A Tribute For A King” actress Phylicia Rashad looked back on mentoring Boseman while teaching the future star at Howard University.
Rashad told the story that she received exciting news that some of her students had been accepted into the British American Drama Academy’s Midsummer program but they would not be able to attend due to lack of funds.
"I made a phone call to a friend of mine, and he called me back and we talked about it for about five minutes, and he said, 'Okay, I got this money," Rashad remembered.
That phone call made to her friend was none other than Denzel Washington.
Chadwick Boseman died in Aug. 2020 after a private four year battle with colon cancer. He was 43.