Chadwick Boseman first graced TV screens in 2003 when he appeared in the daytime soap, All My Children. Boseman went on to appear in E.R, Castle and Fringe.
Last year, Boseman portrayed baseball player, Jackie Robinson in 42 and earlier this year, he won rave reviews for his portrayal as music legend, James Brown in the biopic, Get On Up. Jazz Tangcay sat down with the star to talk about how he prepared for the role, Mick Jagger and we talked about his new role in the Marvel franchise.as Black Panther.
Awards Daily: Let’s talk about the film, your likeness to James Brown is uncanny, can you tell us what you did to prepare for the role?
Chadwick Boseman: The filming was from November to the end of January and the prep was from September. I had two months before we started, once I took the role, it was a regiment ,a James Brown regiment that consisted of listening to his music, reading biographies and articles, watching footage of him, be it performances of him and listening to him talk. and of course his dancing. There might have been some days when I left out one of those things, but a lot of days, it was all of that, doing as much as I could.
AD: Can you tell us about the first meeting you had with Mick Jagger who produced the film?
CB: We first met in LA, he had a suite in his hotel and we talked over tea and biscuits. (Chuckles). We talked and listened to music, particularly James Brown and talked about set up, the problems within the script, the script changed from that point. We both talked about what we wanted to get out of the movie and what the movie should do. It was cool because at first I was like “I can’t believe I’m here with Mick Jagger.” He was present for a lot of the filming and the whole production process.
AD: Were you a fan of James Brown before the film?
CB: I was a fan, but I wasn’t fan like say my parents were fans. I was aware when his songs were sampled, I wouldn’t have been able to have told you what songs they were. I mean I knew the songs you were supposed to know, and maybe a bit more. I met people who were James Brown fanatics, I was by no means that. Today, I’m well versed in his catalogue.
AD: Was the film shot in a linear way?
CB: We didn’t shoot it in a linear way at all. We shot it based upon location and availability. Within one day we would have different eras, I’d go from 55 to 63, straight to 17 and 35. It was a struggle to put yourself in that mindset, remembering certain emotional placements. It was a matter of trying to get back to those things, as they’re taking the make up off of you, you’re internally becoming something else.
AD: Did you feel any pressure to do justice to the role given that James Brown was a musical icon?
CB: That’s what’s scary about taking on a role like this, It’s like who is he, he’s not just about the music, he’s about the dance. and if you don’t get those things right, then people don’t buy that you’re playing him. There’s a legend and folklore about him that exists, all the people that have a story about him and all the musicians he met, you have to fit inside that linage and get that right?
AD: What did you learn from making the film?
CD: I think the greatest thing I learnt was that I learned a bit about myself. Not that I didn’t know that I had abilities, but that I had to dig deep.
AD:Let’s talk Marvel, how much of a Marvel fan were you?
CB : (Chuckles) I can’t tell you anything.
AD: Hmm, let’s see… How excited are you to play the Black Panther?
CB: It’s going to be amazing to do it. It’s one of those things that will be fun. I had a lot of fun playing James Brown and Jackie Robinson. I think this is on par with that. It’s not often that you get to do something that you’re going to be excited about. I know it’s going to be very physical and emotional, but at the same time ,you know you’ll be enjoying every minute.