Anthony Mackie Says It's 'Too Emotional' to Watch Chadwick Boseman in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
"I haven't been able to pull myself to the point emotionally to be able to sit and take that experience in," the actor said
Saying that he hasn't seen the film that was released in December, Mackie noted how both Boseman and August Wilson's play — which the film is based on — hold a "special place" for him.
"Ma Rainey's Black Bottom holds a very special place. With the relationship to that, and the relationship to August Wilson, and my relationship to Chad, I haven't been able to pull myself to the point emotionally to be able to sit and take that experience in," Mackie said. "Because I wouldn't be able to watch it for the performance and the art, it would just be too emotional of a process for me."
Boseman died in August after a private four-year battle with colon cancer and his name could be etched in movie history after the late actor earned rave reviews for his performance in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.
Back in October, Netflix confirmed its plan to campaign Boseman as the lead actor in the film and said it will also campaign him for supporting actor awards for his turn in Spike Lee's Da 5 Bloods this summer.
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Should he be nominated for Best Actor at the 2021 Academy Awards, Boseman will be the first posthumous nominee in the category since Massimo Troisi for 1995's Il Postino. If he is nominated for Best Supporting Actor, he would become the third person in Oscar history to do so, following Ralph Richardson in 1984's Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes and Heath Ledger in 2008's The Dark Knight.
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is based on Wilson's 1982 play about the "Mother of Blues" Ma Rainey (Viola Davis) and her experience with white management at the time. In the film, Boseman plays troubled trumpet player Levee, who vies for his own spot in the music world.
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While chatting with Extra, Mackie, who starred alongside Boseman in three Marvel films — Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame — also detailed that he and the actor knew each other many years before starring alongside each other.
"I met Chad in '98, '99, so I've known him, I knew him for a long time," Mackie told the outlet, before adding what he admired about Boseman and his work ethic.
"What was great about Chad, unlike everybody else today, Chad kept his circle close to his vest. He kept his world very private," he said. "That's one thing, one of the things, that we had in common."
Mackie also added that he and Boseman separated their "time at work" from their "time at home" and "didn't allow the two to cross because that's what keeps you grounded."