Like many people, the filmmaker was shocked when Boseman lost his life at the end of August (20), just a few months after "Da 5 Bloods" was released on Netflix, and now he reveals the "Black Panther" star gave no indication he was terminally ill during the shoot.
"I didn't know Chad was sick," Spike tells Variety. "He did not look well, but my mind never took that he had cancer."
"It was a very strenuous shoot. I mean, we all didn't get to Vietnam until the end of the movie at Ho Chi Minh City. But that other stuff, the jungle stuff, was shot in Thailand. It was 100 degrees every day. It was also, at that time, the worst air pollution in the world."
But the filmmaker understands why Boseman didn't come clean. "He didn't want me to take it easy," he adds. "If I had known, I wouldn't have made him do the stuff. And I respect him for that."
Opening up about the night he learned of Boseman's death, Lee adds, "I went to bed early and the fact that I went to bed early, I woke up early. It must have been I was tired. I went to open my phone, and my phone - the whole thing had been blowing up. I turned it off. I was in shock."
Spike has since watched "Da 5 Bloods" and admits it's a very different film now that Boseman is dead, "It plays totally different. He's a ghost already. You know the scene I'm talking about? It's the scene where he comes back, him and Delroy (Lindo). I felt it when we shot it."