Chadwick Boseman’s death is just another reason why 2020 has been awful, but the stories that continue to be told about the actor will carry his legacy beyond this year.
Boseman starred in the 2019 thriller 21 Bridges alongside actor Sienna Miller, and now, she’s speaking out about the actor’s generosity toward her when they worked together.
“He produced 21 Bridges, and had been really active in trying to get me to do it,” she told Empire Online. “He was a fan of my work, which was thrilling, because it was reciprocated from me to him, tenfold. So he approached me to do it, he offered me this film, and it was at a time when I really didn't want to work anymore. I'd been working non-stop and I was exhausted, but then I wanted to work with him.”
“I didn't know whether or not to tell this story, and I haven't yet. But I am going to tell it, because I think it's a testament to who he was,” Miller says. “This was a pretty big budget film, and I know that everybody understands about the pay disparity in Hollywood, but I asked for a (monetary) number that the studio wouldn't get to. And because I was hesitant to go back to work and my daughter was starting school and it was an inconvenient time, I said, ‘I’ll do it if I'm compensated in the right way.’ And Chadwick ended up donating some of his salary to get me to the number that I had asked for. He said that that was what I deserved to be paid.”
Boseman died on Aug. 28 at the age of 43 after a private, four-year battle with colon cancer. He is survived by his wife, Taylor Simone Ledward, who he quietly married in the months before his death.
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The South Carolina native left his mark by playing some of the most iconic Black figures in history, including Jackie Robinson in 42 and James Brown in Get On Up. He also played Black Panther in the Ryan Coogler-directed film and the Avengers franchise.
But for Miller, Boseman’s generosity toward her was something she will remember. It was the kind of thing that is just not done in the Hollywood film industry, she said.
“It was the most astounding thing that I’ve experienced,” Miller told Empire Online. “That kind of thing just doesn’t happen. He said, ‘You’re getting paid what you deserve and what you’re worth.’ It’s just unfathomable to to imagine another man in that town behaving that graciously or respectfully.”
Miller added, “In the aftermath of this, I’ve told other male actor friends of mine that story and they all go very quiet and go home and probably have to sit and think about things for awhile. But there was no showiness. It was, ‘Of course I’ll get you that number because that’s what you should be paid.’ “
Boseman is buried in his native South Carolina at a cemetery in Belton, about 11 miles from his hometown of Anderson.
Photo: Brad Barket/Getty Images for STXfilms