When Boseman was cast as Marvel’s first black male superhero, the actor revealed some “strange signs” along the way that led him there.
The man who first told the recently deceased American actor Chadwick boseman Who would play the role of “Black Panther” (“Black Panther”) – before Boseman knew the film would be made – was the Australian bodyguard and comic book collector Charles carter. It was a story the actor told more than once, although Carter himself was silent. Until now.
It was September 2014 when Marvel Studios called Chadwick boseman.
He was in Zurich promoting “Get On Up,” a biopic in which he played soul legend James Brown.
Just the day before, Boseman had decided to upgrade his phone plan to include international calls, although he wasn’t expecting any.
But suddenly his agent told him that Marvel I was looking for him to talk to him. Marvel is the company responsible for producing $ 100 million dollar movies based on Marvel Comic characters, including Spiderman and Captain America.
Such was the secret surrounding the project that the production executive before ending the call did not even say the name of the iconic character they wanted Chadwick Boseman to play.
“We want you to play a role and we think you know which one. Are you interested?”
Boseman’s driver had stopped in front of an antique store while the actor took the call. Looking up at the store window from the car, Boseman he saw several panther statues lined up in front of him.
The offer was for him to play Black Panther, prince of Wakanda, in “Captain America: Civil War” and then star in the movie “Black Panther” itself, this time as the leader of the African kingdom.
Boseman told this story in 2016 to an interview with American host Jimmy Kimmel, during a press tour prior to the release of “Captain America: Civil War.” But there was also another story that the actor wanted to share.
Looking at the audience and then at the television camera, Chadwick Boseman smiled and said: “Charles Carter, you were right. Salt of dorWherever you are! ”.
“You’re making him sweat”
Charles Carter met Chadwick Boseman at Fox Studios in Sydney, Australia, when the actor was filming “Gods of Egypt,” a fantasy film about ancient Egyptian deities.
Carter had worked in security for more than 20 years and was serving as a bodyguard for one of the film’s protagonists.
But he immediately hit it off with the actor who played Thoth, the God of Wisdom.
It was early 2014 and Chadwick Boseman, then 37, was gaining momentum as someone who could rise to big Hollywood roles, like that of African-American baseball legend Jackie Robinson in the movie “42.”
Carter and Boseman were also united love of martial arts, kung fu and boxing. Between recordings, the two discussed boxer Floyd Mayweather’s style and technique.
And the makeup artists would berate Carter for playing fight with Boseman. “You’re making him sweat”, they warned him.
When they chatted, Boseman talked to her primarily about his family and cousins in South Carolina. Carter realized that Boseman’s world and those he trusted were a closed circle.
“It wasn’t ‘Hollywood,'” says Carter.
“He was friendly and calm, but did not have a false familiarity with people. He never said it openly, but I don’t think he liked that people he didn’t know called him ‘brother’, except me, “he describes.
Once “he heard someone he didn’t know on set call him ‘brother’, he turned around, looked at him very subtly and calmly and said, ‘Slow down, we’re not that close,’” he recalls.
“He was sure of himself, he was friendly with everyone, with the entire team on set,” he details.
He had a kind of authority that made people listen to him, Carter says.
The perfect role
“I know what the perfect role is for you”Carter told Boseman one day.
It was a story he had known since he was 10 years old, when he bought the first issue of a Black Panther comic.
Growing up in Sydney surrounded by a multicultural group of friends, Carter was not surprised by the fact that this superhero was black.
He was fascinated by the fictional technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda, the birthplace of King T. Challa, Black Panther.
He collected the comics and sealed them with protective plastic.
Seeing Boseman how he behaved on set, Carter began to imagine …
One day he asked Boseman if he had heard of Black Panther.
The actor replied that although he had heard of the character, he did not know the details or the stories.
The conversation ended almost as soon as it started.
But that gave Carter an idea. He went home to get his first copy of the first edition of the 1977 Black Panther comic.
What happened next would be repeated by Chadwick Boseman in the media two years later.
In 2016, Chadwick Boseman gave an interview to the American program “Live with Kelly and Michael” where he said that “There were strange signs” that I was going to get the part.
“I had a conversation with (a person from) security on the set of this movie ‘Gods of Egypt’ in Australia,” he said.
“We don’t really talk much about Black Panther, but he put the first issue of Black Panther in my trailer, his original Black Panther issue from when he was a kid, and wrote a note on it that said: ‘You will get this paper’ “, Boseman said.
“OMG,” the host, Kelly Ripa, replied.
“There was no sign that Marvel was going to make a Black Panther movie or even bring Black Panther to the Marvel universe, “Boseman continued,” but it became something that stayed in my head, “he added.
The actor repeated the story to Jimmy Kimmel, this time turning towards the camera and naming Charles Carter as the sower of the seed.
Carter was in his car in Sydney when he heard the interview on an Australian radio station. She smiled and recalled one of her last conversations on set.
“If they ever make a Black Panther movie, that comic will be worth a lot,” Boseman had told Carter.
“Not, it’s a good luck charm what should stay with you foreverCarter replied. Then he jokingly added, “Don’t forget me when you’re a superstar!”
After filming ended in Australia, there was criticism of Boseman’s character in “Gods of Egypt,” that he was a stereotype of a magical black character.
In an interview with GQ magazine, Boseman said he agreed with the criticism, but added that he had to take the role because “people don’t make $ 140 million movies starring black or brown.”
But the movie Black panther of $ 200 million dollars was already being discussed in the offices of Marvel.
At the launch press conference of Black panther, Marvel producer Kevin Feige said that Chadwick Boseman was her only option for the role.
After it was announced that Black panther was to be filmed and Boseman acknowledged it publicly, Carter declined to give interviews.
“Obviously I am not responsible for Chad and Black panther“, He says.
“Chad did it. It was all his merit, his skill, his beauty, his incredible talent. Did it all and I didn’t want him to think that he was trying to take credit for me just by giving him a gift“, Opines.
But nine days before the world premiere of Black panther, Boseman messaged Carter.
“I know it is last minute. Tickets are hard to come by for this premiere, even for me. If you’re on this side of the pond on the 29th, I have one for you “, he wrote.
It turned out that Carter was on that side of the pond, working in Las Vegas.
After the film’s screening at the Dolby Theater, Boseman invited Carter to the after party where the bodyguard met the Boseman family and the cast of Black panther.
“It was wonderful,” says Carter.
“While there were all the people you could recognize in a magazine, it was clear that Chad’s attention was on his parents and family. I knew who mattered, ”he describes.
This was the last time Carter saw Boseman.
“At the premiere I thought he was moving a little slow and deliberateamenteCarter says.
“I thought maybe he had a Valium since it was a great event. He was totally lucid talking to people who came to congratulate him, but maybe he could have been taking medicine for his cancer at the time, ”he thinks.
“He was very thoughtful, I think,” she adds.
Yet he was also smiling a lot, enjoying the success of the movie that would go on to gross more than $ 1 billion at the box office around the world, and debunking the prejudice that movies starring blacks are too niche to be hits.
The film became a cultural touchpoint and the first bid from the Marvel Comic Universe to win an Oscar.
Boseman had been diagnosed with colon cancer two years before the film’s release, but it wasn’t something he shared, not even with other members of the cast.
Carter also didn’t know and is reluctant to give details of when he heard the news or the last conversation the two had.
But you know what Chadwick Boseman did is huge.
“My friend showed that it is possible to have diverse, strong and powerful leads who are potential box office wins,” he says.
And when a person does that, will inspire many others“He adds.
That said, he doesn’t want to see anyone else in the role of Boseman.
“No one else can be the Black Panther now. Wakanda may live, but not King T’Challa. Writers should think about developing other leads, strong women, strong people of color. We must not replace Chadwick Boseman, because that is not possible ”.
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