Colman Domingo is sharing a powerful scene from Chadwick Boseman‘s last film, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
In the August Wilson adapted feature, Domingo plays Cutler, one of Ma Rainey’s band members. Colman says he experienced an emotional “moment” on set with Boseman, who plays Levee, after Cutler tells the story of a Black pastor being confronted by a group of white men.
“And then Chad comes in,” Colman tells ABC Audio. “And he stopped in the middle of some words… which was about God’s will and basically why do terrible things happen to people who believe. It touched him deeply, whatever it was.”
Colman says he didn’t want the scene to be cut so he started yelling at Boseman to, “‘Tell me, tell me, tell me!'”
“And he finally exploded with those lines, “God hates [Blacks] as much in his heart. God takes [Black people’s] wishes and throws them in the garbage. God don’t care about your Black [bottom],'” he recalls Chad saying.
“And that strikes fear in the heart of Cutler because it’s… like, ‘What if he’s right?,'” Coleman continues. “And all Cutler can do is.. throw blows at him. So we go to blows [and] George [C. Wolfe] calls ‘Cut!” And we looked at each other and we just started crying and holding each other.”
“And we were not only crying and holding each other as Levee and Cutler, but it was Chad and Colman,” he explains. “And I think it was those things that touch us as Black men in the world.”
Although Colman notes that he and Boseman are “very hopeful people…[who] believe in humanity” he admits he’s not always sure.
“But I think there’s also that little question… in the back of [our] mind that hurts us deeply to the core: ‘What if it’s all a lie?'” Colman adds.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom premieres on Netflix December 18.