10 Lesser-known Facts about Chadwick Boseman aka King T’Challa

Chadwick Boseman, Black Panther star,  dies of colon cancer at the age of 43. 

Chadwick Boseman is a major mystery. We just don’t know much about him, even though he’s been getting more and more recognition since Black Panther movie.

It was embraced by the public, and it became one of the top-grossing superhero movies ever. It’s because the film is a historic significance to African society, of course, but it’s not the only reason. Black Panther’s popularity is mostly attributed to Chadwick Boseman, the brilliant actor behind the lead character.

But who is this guy, huh? We just don’t know much about him, even though he’s been getting more and more recognition since his casting. Somehow, he’s been able to stay under the radar for a long time, but not for long.

10. He Liked His Privacy

While Chadwick Boseman has been an actor since the early 2000s, we still don’t know anything about him, and that’s because the actor feels his private life shouldn’t be public; he’s trying to keep it as secret as possible. He doesn’t even answer questions about his personal life, his plans to get married, or his desire to start a family. “It’s nobody’s problem, actually,” Boseman says. “As you think about it, you’re going to be a very different type of actor. I’m an actor, and you know me by what I’m playing. You get an idea of who I am, but you don’t know anything.”

He is right.  When a star reveals the truth of their personal life, the viewers want more and more. And before you know it, you’re robbed of something important. So it’s easier not to proceed.

9. Born in South Carolina, He Knew his Ancestry

Chadwick Boseman was born to the Carolyn and Leroy Boseman family in Anderson, South Carolina, on 29 November 1977. His mother was a teacher, and his father was a businessman. His family wasn’t rich, but they were glad to be together, and they loved each other.

At some point in his life, Boseman wanted to learn about his ancestors and took a DNA test. It emerged that the actor’s family had originated from the West Africans. But it wasn’t just a random exam. It was the one who claimed the origin of the specific ethnic group of the boy.

So Boseman discovered that his ancestors originated from the Limba and Mende people of Sierra Leone, the Yoruba people of Nigeria, and the Jola people of Guinea-Bissau.

Aah, his family’s history must have been very fascinating.

8. At College, He was an Athlete

When Chadwick Boseman studied in high school, he was playing sports like many other boys of his generation. “I played baseball in the Little League but I also played basketball,” the actor shared with Vanity Fair in his interview. “Football was my main sport. If you play the hoops seriously, you stay playing a few times during the summer season. So that’s what replaced me playing baseball. But I was always an athlete and was trying to do more sports.”

I believe Boseman’s love of sports benefited him more when he concentrated on the role of baseball hero Jackie Robinson in the 42nd movie (2013). In reality, the actor has given a lot of time to prepare to play this part. Overall, he knew that portraying the hero was a huge responsibility, and he needed his performance to be flawless.

7. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree In Directing

Initially, Chadwick Boseman was not going to be an actor. Instead, he decided to become a writer and director. And when he was in college, he wrote and directed a play. Boseman then went on to study at Howard University, where he majored in directing. After graduating, he moved to Brooklyn and started his career — writing and directing small off-Broadway plays. Boseman agreed to take acting lessons just to better understand the actors.

“I just started acting and I wanted to see what the actors were doing, how to interact with the actors,” he said. At some point, the enthusiastic director discovered that it was more important for him to be in front of the camera than to be in the rear. He also found out he had a fantastic acting talent. Thus Chadwick Boseman’s acting career has begun.

6. His Acting Career Started on TV

Chadwick Boseman’s career started on TV, as did many other stars. He played small roles in a variety of TV shows, including Law & Order, CSI: NY, ER, Castle, Fridge, among others. You could see him in a recurring role in Lincoln Heights in 2008-2009 and a regular role in Persons Unknown in 2010. Luckily, Boseman did not remain a TV star for him (and for us). His talent was discovered by the directors and producers, and soon his film career began.

Boseman’s first movie was The Express: The Ernie Davis Story (2008), a film about a famous football player at Syracuse University. Starting in 2013, he became more of an involved actor, featuring in a variety of films focused on actual events. We’re going to talk more about it in the next entry!

5. He’s been in Several Biopics

If you take a look at Chadwick Boseman’s filmography, you’ll find that half of his films are biopic. First, as described in the previous article, he played a small part in The Express: Ernie Davis Story, a film about an African American football player. Soon Boseman was given a nickname: Biopic Man. He played Jackie Robinson, a legendary baseball player, in 42; James Brown, the godfather of the soul, in Get On Up; and Thurgood Marshall, a lawyer and associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, in Marshall.

While promoting Get On Up, Boseman said he didn’t want to do another biopic any time soon. But in a few years, he’s landed the role of Thurgood Marshall, and there you have it, he’s playing a real-life hero again! The actor has once revealed that one day he wanted to play Jimi Hendrix.

4. He Criticized the Film He was Starring In

The film Gods of Egypt was released in 2016, and many people blamed it for whitewashing. There was, however, an explanation for this; most of the cast were portrayed by Caucasian actors portraying Egyptian characters and gods. One of the few African-American stars in the film was Chadwick Boseman as Thoth, the God of Wisdom.

When Boseman heard about the criticism of the film, he said that he had originally thought it would happen. “And I’m grateful that it did so because I agree,” the actor said in an interview. “That’s why I chose to do it, so you will see someone of African descent playing Thoth, the father of mathematics, astronomy, the god of wisdom.” Soon enough, the studio behind the film publicly apologized for their casting choices, claiming that “they failed to live up to our standards of inclusion and diversity.”

3. He Trained A Lot for the Role of T’Challa

Like all other superhero actors, Chadwick Boseman had to work intensely to get in shape to play the Black Panther. The actor was trained five days a week, and each class lasted about an hour. He has practised a variety of martial arts, including Muay Thai, Capoeira and Filipino martial arts. Boseman’s teacher determined that because T’Challa was meant to be the lord of all who could adapt to almost any kind of challenge, it was important to teach the actor to fight in a variety of different ways.

But Boseman didn’t only limit himself to the things that his mentor gave him. “I studied the silent power, how the body emits energy,” he said. “I stared at the Masai warriors, I watched the Shaka Zulu videos and other leaders like Patrice Lumumba. Obama. I listened to Mandela’s speech in my car.” I’m sure all of these things influenced him a lot when he was playing King T’Challa.

2. He Despised Wearing a Black Panther Costume at First

Most superhero suits are known to be extremely uncomfortable. Iron Man’s suit was too bulky for Robert Downey Jr. to wear it in full. Scarlett Johansson sometimes complained that her black widow suit was so tight. And several other celebrities have said similar things. All of them was Chadwick Boseman. Initially, he disliked his Black Panther costume. “It was suffocating. It closed off every chance of air getting to you,” the actor said.

Yet he got used to it later. It doesn’t say, of course, that the suit instantly becomes relaxed. “I think that after a little bit it’ll feel like skin,” Boseman said. “But it takes time to get to that point.” I wonder how this suffocating outfit he’d chosen to wear. Was he the whole time worrying about the outcome?  I mean, he knew how cool he was going to be!

1. He Didn’t Have To Audition For ‘Black Panther’

Because of his experience of biopics and his incredible roles, Chadwick Boseman didn’t even have to audition for the Black Panther. After watching the star in Get On Up, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige realized that he was the guy he needed to see as King T’Challa. 

“I believe it was 24 hours before he said his name at an imaginative anecdote meeting and talked to his agent and called him and offered him Black Panther’s part, which he accepted,” said Feige. The time Boseman was called to play the role, he was in Zurich, Switzerland, promoting Get On Up. The actor accepted, without paying too much heed to that.

But, as is always the case for major positions, they wanted him to keep it quiet. It wasn’t a concern, though, for our secret guy Chadwick. “I didn’t even mention anything to my family,” he confessed later.

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