Chadwick Boseman’s death at age 43 stunned the world, including Spike Lee. The Da 5 Bloods director previously revealed that he never suspected that anything was amiss with Boseman’s health. And that’s how the actor who embodied King T’Challa wanted it, since he shielded virtually everyone from news of his Stage 3 diagnosis in 2016 (while superhero-ing in Captain America: Civil War all the way to Avengers: Endgame). While speaking with Variety, Spike Lee has revisited Boseman’s passing in light of his resolute devotion on his set.
The Da 5 Bloods helmer discussed how shocked he was to hear the news, and Lee has rewatched the film since the tragic happening. He now feels that Chadwick was “a ghost already” during a very recognizable scene in the movie, and “that was God sending heavenly light on Chadwick.” Lee does, however, understand why Boseman did not alert anyone of his condition, and he respects the decision. Quite simply, Boseman didn’t want his director to dilute anything that happened in the film:
“I didn’t know Chad was sick. He did not look well, but my mind never took that he had cancer. It was a very strenuous shoot. I mean, we all didn’t get to Vietnam until the end of the movie at Ho Chi Minh City. But that other stuff, the jungle stuff, was shot in Thailand. 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.”
The profile’s chock full of insight, including Lee’s musings on what could happen if Trump loses the election. In summary, Lee stops short of predicting any election outcome, but he does believe that “a civil war” could follow if Trump doesn’t win a second term. Considering what we’ve seen from POTUS this week, that doesn’t feel like a far-fetched scenario. Read the full Variety interview here.