Chadwick Boseman: 'The Ancestors Spoke Through Him'

Tributes continue to roll in for 'Black Panther' star
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2020 12:03 AM CDT
Black Panther Director Honors Chadwick Boseman
In this video grab issued Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020, by MTV, a tribute to the late actor Chadwick Boseman appears on screen during the MTV Video Music Awards.   (MTV via AP)

The tributes continue to pour in for Chadwick Boseman, who died Friday at 43 after a private four-year battle with colon cancer. Ryan Coogler, who directed Boseman in Black Panther, offered a lengthy tribute to the actor, which USA Today has in full. He recalls how impressed he was when he first saw Boseman as T’Challa in a previous Marvel film, and notes how important it was to Boseman that his character "speak with an African accent, so that he could present T’Challa to audiences as an African king, whose dialect had not been conquered by the West." When they started working together, Coogler recalls how hard Boseman worked—and how important the film was to him.

"When preparing for the film, he would ponder every decision, every choice, not just for how it would reflect on himself, but how those choices could reverberate," Coogler writes. Boseman would say, he recalls, "'They not ready for this, what we are doing … This is Star Wars, this is Lord of the Rings, but for us … and bigger!'" Coogler says he didn't believe his star at first, but "Chad knew something we all didn’t. He was playing the long game. All while putting in the work." Boseman was also honored Sunday at multiple NBA games, per Yahoo Sports and People, and ABC aired Black Panther commercial-free followed by a special on the actor. MTV's Video Music Awards, which were held virtually Sunday night, were also dedicated to him, the AP reports. (For more on the VMAs, at which Lady Gaga dominated, click here.)

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