Viola Davis and other actors filming alongside Chadwick Boseman months before his death felt God’s presence as they film what would be the late actor’s final movie.
Award-winning actress Viola Davis starred alongside Chadwick Boseman in George C. Wolfe’s film “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”. The film is an adaptation of August Wilson’s play of the same title. Together with Viola and Chadwick, Colman Domingo, Glynn Turman, and Michael Potts also played a huge role in the movie.
The film shows the story of blues singer Ma Rainey (Viola) and her band members Levee (Chadwick), Toledo (Glynn), Cutler (Colman), and Slow Drag (Michael) as they gather at a recording studio in Chicago during the year 1927.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Only a few of the crew members knew about the private battle of Chadwick against colon cancer. In August, only a few months after the movie finished filming, he died at the age of 43. “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” became the final performance of the Christian actor.
In an interview with The Christian Post, Colman Domingo shared that film engages in topics about faith, doubt, injustice, and God’s goodness. One particularly moving scene in the film shows the atheist Levee’s spar against the devout Christian Cutler.
Colman revealed that as he and Chadwick filmed the scene, everyone in the room felt God was present.
“It was powerful,” he recalled. “And I tell you I knew that day — and these men will attest it — God was in the room. The Divine was in the room because it required that work to bring ourselves into it.”
The Black Panther actor experienced a break down as he played the role of a man in a rage to God.
“There were a couple of times where Chadwick was doing that monologue and it emotionally affected him so greatly,” Wolfe recalled. “Then the actors were there to support him on his return back to Chadwick once he finished doing Levee.”
The film is not a faith-based movie, however, it explores the complex role of Christianity in the history of African American culture. It is now showing on Netflix.