AceShowbiz - Chadwick Boseman had completed filming for "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom", which now would be his final film, before his shocking death in late August. Now, the first look at the late actor in the upcoming Netflix movie has been unveiled.
Boseman portrays Levee, an ambitious trumpeter, in the film. He is seen suiting up in one image and lying down on a bench while being surrounded by other musicians in another shot. There's also a behind-the-scenes look featuring the "Black Panther" star with lead actress Viola Davis and director George C. Wolfe.
Davis takes on the title role, who is described as the legendary "Mother of the Blues." A still picture shows her in a scene where she performs with a band of musicians, while another image sees her channeling her inner diva on stage while being joined by some backing dancers.
Speaking to The New York Times, Denzel Washington, who co-produced the movie, gushes over Boseman's performance. "He did a brilliant job, and he's gone. I still can't believe it," he said of the late actor.
Davis, meanwhile, applauds Boseman's work ethic. "A lot of actors mistake their presence for the event," she says of her co-star. "An actor of Chadwick's status usually comes on and it's their ego who comes on before them: This is what they want, this is what they're not going to do. That was absolutely, 150 percent off the table with Chadwick. He could completely discard whatever ego he had, whatever vanity he had, and welcome Levee in."
She goes on recalling how Boseman received a lot of support from his team during the production. "I'm looking back at how tired he always seemed. I look at his beautiful, unbelievable team that was meditating over him and massaging him, and I now realize everything they were trying to infuse in him to keep him going and working at his optimal level. And he received it," she shares, not realizing that he was battling cancer at the time.
"Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" is based on the play of the same name by August Wilson. The film is set during an intense recording session in 1920s Chicago as Ma Rainey battles her manager and producer over control of her music and goes toe-to-toe with band members such as Boseman's Levee, an ambitious trumpeter who is determined to make a name for himself in the music industry.
The movie will be released December 18 on Netflix.