Spike Lee Looks Back on Directing Chadwick Boseman in Da 5 Bloods: He Was a 'Trooper'

"He was there every single minute in the moment. And his performance is a testament to what he put into that role, and all his roles," Spike Lee said

Spike Lee, Chadwick Boseman
Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images; Jesse Grant/Getty Images

Spike Lee is looking back on his experience directing Chadwick Boseman in Da 5 Bloods, remembering the late actor for his powerful performance and dedication to his role.

During his annual Brooklyn ♥ MJ block party for Michael Jackson's birthday on Saturday, Lee paid tribute to Boseman, who died Friday at 43 after a years-long battle with colon cancer.

Lee began the virtual listening party explaining that he was "floored by the crushing news" of Boseman's death.

After dedicating Jackson's song "Gone Too Soon" to Boseman, Lee reflected on his time working with the late star, who played squad leader Stormin' Norman in the Vietnam War film released earlier this year.

"We filmed Da 5 Bloods in Thailand, and it was hot, jungles, mountains, and Chadwick was there with us all the way. I never, ever suspected that anything was wrong. No one knew he was going through treatment, chemotherapy," Lee began.

He went on to call Boseman a "trooper" and someone who "never complained," adding, "He was there every single minute in the moment. And his performance is a testament to what he put into that role, and all his roles. We miss you, Chadwick, we’re going to celebrate your life."

The Oscar-winning director also shared several Instagram posts in honor of Boseman and his work on Da 5 Bloods, which ended up being one of the actor's final works.

In one video post, Boseman — who appears in flashbacks throughout the film — is seen singing Marvin Gaye's "God Is Love," a scene that never made it into the movie.

"That scene got me when we were shooting it. Watching that again this morning just tore me up," Lee said of the clip during the virtual party.

"GOD IS LO💜E. LO💜E IS CHADWICK.🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿," he captioned the Instagram.

Lee also included a powerful scene from the movie when Boseman's character offers forgiveness to Vietnam veteran Paul, played by Delroy Lindo.

Lee later posted two stills of Boseman from the Netflix film. "Stormin’ Norman In That Heavenly Light. MR. CHADWICK BOSEMAN.💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿," Lee captioned one of the moving photos.

Boseman was extremely private about his personal life, keeping his 2016 cancer diagnosis a secret until his death.

“Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, and battled with it these last 4 years as it progressed to stage IV,” his family wrote in their statement ⁣on social media Friday.

“A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much,” the statement continued. “From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several more, all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy.” ⁣

"He died in his home, with his wife and family by his side," the post concluded. "The family thanks you for your love and prayers, and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time."

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