In a roundabout way, Denzel Washington may have helped Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman become an actor. Before Boseman was announced as the MCU's T'Challa in the lead-up to Captain America: Civil War, the young actor was already a rising star thanks to his lead role in the James Brown biopic Get On Up. But it's safe to say the runaway success of Black Panther has turned Boseman into a household name.
Last night's Academy Awards once again largely snubbed superhero films, but the critical praise for Marvel's latest entry has many wondering about Black Panther's Oscars chances in 2019. The movie has gained near-universal acclaim from critics and audiences keep heading back to theaters to see the film. In fact, it may soon be Marvel's first solo debut to crack $1 billion worldwide. But long before Boseman was starring in one of the biggest films of all time, he was still a struggling artist trying to hone his craft.
Chadwick Boseman was a guest on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, where he opened up about a story he's long been keeping to himself. Specifically, it involves The Cosby Show star Phylicia Rashad gathering funds from her famous friends to help fly kids overseas to study at Oxford. And it turns out, Boseman's particular trip to the iconic school was paid for by an equally famous thespian.
"I didn't have money to pay for this, and so she [Rashad] got a few of her friends together and, you know, they paid for us to go. I didn't know at first - when I came back - and I've basically been holding this secret my whole career, [but] when I came back I got a beneficiary letter. And it said, 'Denzel Washington paid for you.' You know, and I was like, 'What?'"
Boseman kept the story to himself for years, wanting to tell Denzel Washington how much it meant to him if they ever met. As Boseman tells it, that happened right before his big cover story on Rolling Stone, which mentions the story for the first time. It's even more surreal when you consider Denzel Washington was once considered for Black Panther.
Boseman is just one of many aspects of Black Panther that has been winning it praise and helping it tear up the box office. He'll next be seen this summer in Avengers: Infinity War and will appear in the follow-up next year. And of course, Black Panther 2 should come in Phase 4 of the MCU. In between his role as the ruler of Wakanda, it's safe to assume Boseman has a bright future ahead of him. He may even someday use his fame and wealth from Black Panther to help another aspiring actor fulfill their dream.
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