Director Spike Lee was the subject of a piece for Variety on Wednesday where he recalled working with Chadwick Boseman. Lee’s Netflix drama Da 5 Bloods was one of the final performances of Boseman’s acting career before his untimely passing and Lee was able to provide a unique insight into some of the actor’s final moments on set.
In the piece, Lee revealed that he was completely unaware of Boseman’s cancer diagnosis.
“He did not look well, but my mind never took that he had cancer,” Lee said. “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.”
Lee also discussed how rewatching Da 5 Bloods since Boseman’s passing brought a different perspective to certain scenes in the film.
“He’s a ghost already. You know the scene I’m talking about? It’s the scene where he comes back, him and Delroy. I felt it when we shot it,” Lee said.
“It’s Chadwick standing in that light, in that pose. That was God up there. I don’t care what nobody says. That was God’s heavenly light, because that scene’s not lit. That’s natural light. And that was God sending heavenly light on Chadwick. Paul, played by Delroy Lindo, he says, ‘I died for you.’ I mean it was hard to look at the film again for me since his transition.”
On August 28, Boseman died after a four-year battle with colon cancer. He was just 43 years old.