Chadwick Boseman Tears Up Over Two Boys With Cancer Who Tried to “Hold On” to See Black Panther
Black Panther has finally arrived! The most-anticipated film in 2018 landed in theaters nationwide today, and it has been worth the wait. However, there were two boys with cancer who, unfortunately, didn’t make it to see this day, and the Black Panther himself Chadwick Boseman teared up talking about it.
The cast of Black Panther stopped by Sirius XM Radio’s Sway in the Morning yesterday, and although the ins-and-outs of the movie-making process were discussed, nothing touched my heart more than when the lead man himself Chadwick Boseman answered a question about the social impact that the film had on the African-American community, particularly kids.
“I think we’re all watching what’s happening. This has taken on a life of its own, and so you can’t help but see the videos of kids, you know, responding to the fact that they’re going to the movie,” he said. “You know, for myself, I get the benefit of sending some people, some kids in my hometown, and knowing that this is going to be a great experience for them. And so…I think all of it is personal. This was a personal endeavor for all of us, so watching how people respond to it, for people to create their own posters…like seeing kids recreate our posters actually.”
This is something that Boseman’s Black Panther co-star, Academy Award winning actress Lupita Nyong’o, echoed by sharing this kid recreation of the film’s characters on Twitter.
But Boseman elaborated on how important this film is to the Black community when he shared a personal story of two boys with cancer who, according to their parents, tried to hold on to their lives until the film came to theaters.
“…there are two little kids Ian and Taylor who recently passed from cancer. And throughout our filming, I was communicating with them knowing that they were both terminal. And what they said to me is, their parents said ‘they’re trying to hold on ’til this movie comes,'” he said. “And I, to a certain degree, you hear them say that, and you’re like, ‘Whew! Like, wow! That’s, like, I gotta get up and go to the gym. I gotta get up and go to work. You know, I have gotta learn these lines, I gotta work on this accent… seeing how the movement, how it’s taken on a life of its own, I realized that they anticipated something great.”
Boseman compared the boys’ anticipation of seeing Black Panther to Christmas or a birthday, and thinking about that, caused great emotion in the 41-year-old actor.
“And uhm, I think back now to a kid and just you know, waiting for Christmas to come, waiting for my birthday to come, waiting for a toy that was going to get to experience or a video game, I did live life waiting for those moments, and so what put me back in the mind of being a kid just to experience those two little boys anticipation of this movie, and when I fond out that they…”
And this is when Boseman tears up before being able to state the unfortunate fact that the two boys passed before getting the opportunity to see their Black superhero on the silver screen. He ends his story with “Yea, it means a lot.” And for Black people across this nation and beyond, seeing Black Panther means more than anyone could have imagined.
You can watch Boseman share the story below between the 36:30 to 40:48 marks.