During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Chadwick Boseman’s agent, Michael Greene, spoke on his experiences with the actor and how much Boseman valued his platform.
Greene said he initially called Boseman in 2008 after his clients Tessa Thompson and Omari Hardwick were up for roles in a film he was writing and directing. Greene within a week of working together, Boseman booked his first job and never stopped working for 12 years. Greene also described the actor insisting he audition for the James Brown biopic even though he was already offered the role. According to Greene, Boseman also made sure he had the blessings of James Brown and Thurgood Marshall’s family members before doing their biopics. Greene added that Boseman’s artistic integrity was very important to him.
“The amount of time that we strategized over whether he should do a role for the betterment of humanity — it was always about utilizing his platform,” Greene said. “‘How can I give back? How will this be valuable to the Black community, and the community at large?’ He was always, ‘What will I be able to tell through this role?’ That’s how we chose almost all his roles.”
The agent also talked about Boseman turning down a branding opportunity with a liquor company after the success of Black Panther. Greene said Boseman’s response to the opportunity was, “I can’t, because how can I show young Black kids and kids of color that they can be superheroes, [then do this]?”
Greene also recalled moments where Boseman was willing to lose roles if they portrayed Black characters in stereotypical fashion:
“He stopped doing his first TV show, All My Children, which Michael B. Jordan took over,” Greene said. “After Chad’s first script, they literally said, ‘Oh, here’s your next script, and your mother’s a crackhead and your father left.’ And he goes, ‘I’m not playing those images,’ and he went into the writers room, and they fired him. I remember him and Tessa were offered a movie, it was about two slaves, and he was like, ‘I do not want to perpetuate slavery.’ It was like, ‘We’re not going to keep perpetuating the stereotypes,’ and that’s why he wanted to show men of strength and of character.”
Boseman’s agent said the actor’s next project was supposed to be A Civil Right, which was a historical story about how beaches became desegregated. Chadwick Boseman passed away from colon cancer on August 28th.