Chadwick Boseman can be posthumously seen in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom with Viola Davis, out on Netflix on Dec. 18

By Alexia Fernández
December 04, 2020 02:17 PM

Chadwick Boseman's legacy will continue on as the star is remembered through the films he made and the wisdom he imparted.

"I think he is going to be remembered as a hero," his Ma Rainey's Black Bottom costar Viola Davis told The Guardian in an interview.

"There's a part of the public that's gonna associate that with Black Panther; I do not," she continued. "I associate that with his authenticity, especially in the midst of a profession that sometimes can suck that out of you."

The Oscar winner, 55, said Boseman "was a person who lived a life bigger than themselves."

"I think that his legacy, his body of work, his integrity, is going to influence on generations upon generations to come," Davis added.

Viola Davis; Chadwick Boseman; Denzel Washington
| Credit: Stefanie Keenan/Getty; Kevin Mazur/Getty; Rich Fury/Getty

The film's producer, Denzel Washington, told The Guardian the late actor "lived what I like to call a concentrated dose of life."

"He had a powerful, effective, incredible life that was unfortunately cut short," Washington, 65, said. "We got cheated. His wife, especially, his family — they are the ones who have to deal with the loss and the pain and not having him every day."

He continued, "We, as audience members, consumers, whatever the word, fans, we have enough forever. He left us incredible performances that will live forever. A lot of times, I say: you never see a U-Haul behind a hearse. You can’t take it with you, but you can leave it. And Chad has left it here."

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom stars Davis as Ma Rainey, the "Mother of the Blues," with Boseman as her ambitious horn player, Levee. Tensions rise as Rainey engages in a battle of wills with her white manager and producer over control of her music during a recording session in the 1920s.

As Rainey struggles to own her own recordings, Levee is determined to stake his own claim on the music industry.

Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
| Credit: Netflix

The film, directed by George C. Wolfe, is based on the play by Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson and is the second adaptation of Wilson's work to be produced by Washington after 2016's Fences, in which he directed, wrote, produced and starred in.

Davis won her first Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 2017 for her role in Fences.

Boseman is already receiving Oscar buzz for his performance in this film, with Variety reporting the awards race will be competitive between him and Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins in The Father.

The Black Panther star died in August after a private four-year battle with colon cancer at the age of 43.

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is available on Netflix on Dec. 18.