Anthony Mackie and Chadwick Boseman made history by becoming two of the first Black actors to play Black superheroes in a Marvel film. Both had supporting roles in Captain America: Civil War before Boseman went on to star in the massively successful Black Panther and Mackie landed a lead role in the hit TV series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
In August of 2020, Boseman died of colon cancer, sending shockwaves through the entertainment industry. And while many actors in the Marvel universe and beyond were devastated by the news, Mackie was hit especially hard.
Mackie’s connection with Boseman predated their working relationship in Marvel films; the two had gone to college together long before either had found success. Looking back on their relationship, Mackie recently shared what he loved the most about the iconic actor.
Anthony Mackie knew Chadwick Boseman long before they were successful actors
Mackie discussed his relationship with Boseman during a recent interview with Hot 97.
“Well, it’s funny, I’ve known Chad since… 1999 was when we met in D.C., at Howard University,” Mackie recalled. “So I’ve known him a long time, and I was blessed to be able to share many different experiences in our careers and growth of our careers together.”
He loved the fact that Chadwick Boseman became successful ‘the right way’
Later in the interview, Mackie revealed what he loved the most about Boseman.
“And one thing I love about Chad is he did it the right way. He studied his craft, he went to school and learned what it meant to be a thespian, but not only a thespian, a performer of his arts. He studied theatre as well as film, as well as classics, as well as contemporary,” Mackie said. “That’s why he could play Thurgood Marshall as well as Black Panther, as well as a football player in a movie with Kevin Costner. He could do all that stuff. That’s why he could play Levy in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, because he had the experience of knowing who August Wilson was.”
Anthony Mackie thinks Chadwick Boseman should be celebrated for his accomplishments
Even though Boseman had a career spanning over 25 years, he’s known mostly for his role as T’Challa in Marvel’s Black Panther franchise. Mackie believes that Boseman’s involvement in the film helped changed the Marvel universe forever.
“What they were able to do with that character … what Chadwick Boseman was able to bring to the screen completely changed the notion, the idea that Black films were not viable overseas,” Mackie said.
Considering all of Bosman’s accomplishments, Mackie believes Boseman deserves recognition for his impact on the movie business.
“He did it in the way that should be celebrated and applauded, especially as a young Black man,” Mackie said. “We should look at that and realize that he wasn’t just some person who ran to Hollywood and said, ‘Make me famous.’ He took the opportunity to learn what it was to be a thespian and an actor, and I think that’s what made him so special when you look at his work.”
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