Chadwick Boseman's Co-Star Taylour Paige Says He Deserves an Oscar for Keeping His Cancer a Secret
By Paige Gawley
John Shearer/Getty Images / VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images
Chadwick Boseman's co-star is even more in awe of the late actor's work after learning of his battle with cancer. In the latest issue of Elle, Taylour Paige, one of the magazine's rising stars to watch, reveals she didn't know of Boseman's health issues while they were filming Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. The actor died in August at age 43 after being diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016.
"I didn’t know he was sick," Paige, 30, says. "People are going to be stunned by his performance [in Ma Rainey], but now I feel he should win an Oscar just for acting like he was OK."
The film, which is due out in December, will mark Boseman's final performance. Da 5 Bloods, though, was Boseman's last film to be released while he was alive. Like Paige, Da 5 Bloods' director, Spike Lee, didn't know of Boseman's illness until after his death.
"He did not look well, but my mind never took that he had cancer. It was a very strenuous shoot... 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," Lee told Variety. "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."
"... This is conjecture: There’s a possibility he thought this might be his last film. And God gave him one more with Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. But now looking at that, he was playing it," he added. "[Boseman's character] Stormin' Norman says, 'If I have to go out, I’m going gangbusters.' And that’s what he did."
Watch the video below for more on the legacy Boseman left behind.