Chadwick Boseman’s final feature performance before his untimely demise, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, which stars Viola Davis, hits Netflix on December 18. The film is already getting Oscar buzz and his co-stars have spoken out about how dynamic he was on screen even while battling cancer. Viola Davis is now reflecting on the actor who passed away on August 28.
In an interview with InStyle, Davis said, "It’s like what Issa Rae said: 'He was ours as African Americans.' He was someone who had a quality that very few have today, whether young or old, which is a total commitment to the art form of acting. Regardless of ego, regardless of any of it."
The Oscar winner continued, "He was with the same agent he had when he started his career. And when you were with him on the set, he absolutely did not want celebrity treatment.”
She also added, “He hated that. He really did. We actually had a little discussion about that. He said, 'Viola, I don’t mind the work. I don’t mind all the hours. It’s the other stuff that exhausts me.' He hated the celebrity part."
Directed by George C. Wolfe, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is an adaptation of the 1982 August Wilson play about the legendary blues singer from Chicago. Boseman plays an ambitious trumpeter named Levee. The film takes us back to 1927 as we follow Rainey and a group of musicians working through a Chicago recording session. Known as the “Mother of the Blues,” Rainey was one of the first blues artists to record her work.
Watch the trailer below:
(Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)