Spike Lee says he didn’t realise Chadwick Boseman was sick on grueling ‘Da 5 Bloods’ shoot

‘He did not look well, but my mind never took that he had cancer’

Clémence Michallon
New York City
Wednesday 07 October 2020 19:23
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Spike Lee says he would have handled his collaboration with Chadwick Boseman differently if he’d known the actor was ill while filming Da 5 Bloods.

Lee’s movie, which was released on Netflix in June, was one of Boseman’s last projects. The actor died in August of colon cancer at the age of 43.

Boseman had chosen to keep his cancer diagnosis private. Like many others, Lee did not know about Boseman’s health issues when they worked together.

“I didn’t know Chad was sick,” the director told Variety in a recent interview. “He did not look well, but my mind never took that he had cancer."

Lee called the shoot, which took place in Vietnam and Thailand, “very strenuous”, adding: "It was 100 degrees every day. It was also at that time the worst air pollution in the world.

“I understand why Chadwick didn’t tell me because he didn’t want me to take it easy. If I had known, I wouldn’t have made him do the stuff. And I respect him for that.”

Boseman also stars in George C Wolfe 's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, which will be released posthumously in December in the US and in the UK.

The movie, an adaptation of August Wilson’s play of the same name, also features Viola Davis, Glynn Turman, Colman Domingo, Michael Potts, and more. 

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