Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Ryan Neal
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: RidiculouslyExtraordinary. Posted by Ryan Neal
42, Get On Up, Marshall
Currently Known For:
Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War
42, Get On Up, Marshall
Chadwick Boseman had already been a pretty well established actor in Hollywood, but wasn’t a well known name by the public for quite some time. That would change when Boseman became part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and landed the role of Black Panther, achieving massive success.
Boseman’s parents both came from Africa to the United States, and he was born in Anderson, South Carolina, but no official date of birth due to different sources. Boseman said that Anderson wasn’t the most desirable town for an African-American to grow up in as he said he experienced a lot of racism.
“(Racism) is not hard to find in South Carolina,” he said. “Going to high school, I’d see Confederate flags on trucks. I know what it’s like to be a kid at an ice cream shop when some little white kid calls you (a racist slur), but your parents tell you to calm down because they know it could blow up. We even had trucks try to run us off the road.”
Boseman kept his head held high throughout his childhood and even wrote his own play while he was still in high school. After graduating in 1995, Boseman would leave South Carolina for Washington, D.C. to attend Howard University where he studied under teacher Phylicia Rashad (of “The Cosby Show” fame).
Acting wasn’t in Boseman’s blood at first as he was more focused on working behind the camera, but eventually changed his mind after teaching drama classes. Boseman had small roles in films and television shows at first, including on “Third Watch” and “Law & Order”. 2008 would be a year where his career took an upturn as he left for Hollywood full-time and landed a role on the show “Lincoln Heights” and was in the movie “The Express”.
We all know about Boseman’s most famous character, but his first true big break came in 2013 when he played baseball legend Jackie Robinson in the biopic film “42”. This would open up the door for Boseman to demand larger roles, including the films “Draft Day” and “Gods of Egypt” over the next couple of years.
A lot of actors have to wait for the biggest break in their careers, and Boseman was no exception. It was in 2016 that Boseman would make his debut as T’Challa, otherwise known as the superhero named Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Boseman was one of the few Marvel actors that didn’t have to audition for the role, instead getting a call from director Ryan Coogler, and instantly got into preparation, learning a South African dialect wnad working out several hours per day.
Boseman didn’t get his own standalone movie when he made his debut, though, first appearing in “Captain America: Civil War.”
However, it had already been announced that the character would be getting his own movie, but nobody could’ve guessed just how big it would be. “Black Panther” debuted in theaters on February 16, 2018 and became one of the biggest hits in box office history. With an estimated budget of $200 million, “Black Panther” became a culture icon as it reeled in a collective $1.3 billion in ticket sales.
The exposure that Boseman received from the film made him a bona fide star, and added yet another must-see character to the Marvel series. Boseman would play the role again in the highly anticipated “Avengers: Infinity War” and is signed on for the sequel, as well. With how much the first “Black Panther” made, it’s almost inevitable that there will be another movie for Boseman as T’Challa.
Right now, Boseman isn’t signed on for any further projects due to the demands of playing Black Panther and having to do seemingly non-stop press tours. However, you can expect him to be back on the big screen in some capacity as a leading man. Black Panther was a role that Boseman said he literally played to play when he started out in acting, so even if it’s the only role he keeps getting for the rest of his career, he’s going to be satisfied.
Still, Boseman wants to pursue other opportunities and isn’t afraid of being typecast as a superhero. “I (don’t) think that would be an issue, because of the other characters that I played,” he said. “I’ve already experienced a time period where I was nobody but Jackie Robinson...It’s funny.”
Although he loves playing the character, there’s one thing that he’s not fond of about the character anymore, and that’s the Wakanda salute where he crosses his arms over his chest. Fans have been asking him to do it for pictures ever since “Black Panther” was released, and in photos he simply looks exhausted from being asked. “If I don’t want to do it, I have to not leave the house, pretty much,” he said. “I’ve been chased in cars.”
So if you see Boseman out and about and appreciate his work, maybe just shake his hand or give him a high five.