Chadwick Boseman never intended on becoming an actor.
The 40-year-old actor has become a household name in recent months after starring as the titular superhero in Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ but has admitted that growing up, he never wanted to be in front of the camera, and fancied himself as a director instead.
He said: “I was more so of the mind of the director and the writer. I didn’t want to be onstage and I didn’t want to be on camera. Not at all. My older brother, he’s a dancer; he was also in plays. I would sit in the audience with my mom watching the director, and I was more interested in what he was doing than the performance onstage; it didn’t register that it was something I wanted to do. I became an actor because I was just trying to learn the whole process.”
Chadwick has achieved global success with his lead role as T’Challa and his crime-fighting alter ego and has revealed the success is a win for him, as he was told throughout his career that movies with a “black lead” wouldn’t do well overseas.
Speaking to Esquire magazine, he said: “Studios will very often tell you that movies with a black lead are not going to work overseas. That was the thing for me – this means something everywhere in the world. It could actually change how studios respond to [black] movies. You can no longer say definitively, ‘Black movies don’t work [outside of the US].'”
Previously, Chadwick spoke about how he has battled racism throughout his life but was taught to stay quiet by his parents out of fear the situation would escalate.
He said: “I know what it’s like to be a kid at an ice-cream shop when some little white kid calls you ‘n****r’, but your parents tell you, ‘Calm down!’ because they know it could blow up. We even had trucks try to run us off the road …
“It’s not hard to find [racism] in South Carolina. Going to high school, I’d see Confederate flags on trucks.”