The world was rocked on Friday when it was announced that Chadwick Boseman, the 43-year-old actor known for playing iconic roles such as James Brown, Jackie Robinson, and Black Panther, had passed away after a four-year battle with colon cancer.
As soon as word of Boseman’s heartbreaking passing became public, tributes from all corners of the planet began to pour in, from fans and friends to filmmakers and co-stars.
One of the most touching tributes came from director Spike Lee, who worked with Boseman on Da 5 Bloods — the Vietnam war drama that dropped on Netflix earlier this summer and now stands as one of Boseman’s final film roles.
In various Instagram posts and comments, the legendary filmmaker discussed his experience working with Boseman on the set of Da 5 Bloods, highlighting the fact that — despite the grueling conditions and his battle with cancer — Boseman remains the consummate professional. Lee also stressed that no one — not any of the co-stars, not the crew, not the director himself — knew of Boseman’s struggles.
“We filmed Da 5 Bloods in Thailand, and it was hot, jungles, mountains, and Chadwick was there with us all the way. I never, ever suspected that anything was wrong. No one knew he was going through treatment, chemotherapy,” Lee said.
“[Chadwick was] A trooper. He never complained. He was there every single minute, in the moment, and his performance is testament to what he put into that role and all his roles.”
Boseman’s performance in Da 5 Bloods oozes gravitas as “Stormin'” Norman Earl Holloway, the fallen leader of the group of Vietnam Veterans (played by Delroy Lindo, Norm Lewis, Isiah Whitlock Jr., and Clarke Peters) who travel back to the country to find a stash of gold and give Stormin’ Norman a proper burial. If you haven’t seen Da 5 Bloods, it’s one of the best movies to be released this year, so make sure to go check it out over on Netflix.
Rest in Power, Chadwick.