Spike Lee is still processing the loss of Chadwick Boseman.
Boseman, who died in August from stage 4 colon cancer at age 43, starred in Lee’s Vietnam vet Netflix film, Da 5 Bloods. Lee tells Variety that looking back, he had no clue that Boseman was suffering.
“He did not look well, but my mind never took that he had cancer,” Lee said, before adding that “it was a very strenuous shoot.”
“It was 100 degrees every day,” he continues. “It was also at that time the worst air pollution in the world.”
Lee says because of the terrible conditions he could “understand why Chadwick didn’t tell [him]” about his illness.
“Because he didn’t want me to take it easy,” he said. “If I had known, I wouldn’t have made him do the stuff. And I respect him for that.”
Lee says he recently rewatched Da 5 Bloods with his wife Tonya, and admits the film “plays totally different” now that Boseman has passed. In fact, he notes the part in the film where Boseman’s character, Stormin’ Norman, is shown in angelic white light. Lee said he “felt it” as he was shooting the scene.
“It was God’s heavenly light,” he explained. “We didn’t have light. You know, Delroy [Lindo] is talking to the camera, talking about his conversation with God. We go up, and we come down and we find this heavenly light. It’s Chadwick standing in that light, in that pose. That was God up there. I don’t care what nobody says. That was God’s heavenly light, because that scene’s not lit. That’s natural light. And that was God sending heavenly light on Chadwick.”
“I mean it was hard to look at the film again for me since his transition. It is just a whole ’nother experience,” Lee adds.
By Candice Williams
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.