Chadwick Boseman’s rise to prominence was not immediate or instant. He served his time on TV without ever seemingly capable of breaking into film.
He even revealed in an interview with GQ that he was considering giving up acting altogether before landing the role of Jackie Robinson in the film, 42. It started a journey that has seen Boseman become one of the hottest actors in Hollywood.
On the back of playing Robinson, the first African American to play in Major League Baseball, he starred in Get on Up as James Brown, another beloved legend of American history. The Washington Post claimed he was electrifying as the soul legend and major movie producers suddenly queued up to take him on.
After handling such characters with the care and attention to detail they deserved, Boseman cemented his reputation by moving into another institution, although one of a very different nature: Marvel.
Boseman played T’Challa or Black Panther in four films: The Black Panther, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War and the box office smash Avengers: Endgame. Box Office Mojo outlines that Endgame took $2.7bn worldwide, catapulting Boseman even further into stardom.
The Avengers franchise has been the catalyst behind the South Carolina native’s swift rise to fame. The recent series of films have seen the franchise, and the superhero genre in general, become more popular than ever before across a range of digital media. There is a wealth of gaming content on Foxy Games that is dedicated to the superhero genre including Justice League, Thunderstruck II, and Super Heroes, as well as blockbuster home releases planned on consoles and PC in the coming years. And it’s a phenomenon guaranteed to bring focus on the actors involved as the genre transcends barriers and breaks new ground.
There’s little doubt Boseman’s stock has never been higher as a result of his involvement in these films, and his workload looks set to increase as a result. Next up on his agenda are more starring roles, including the recently released New York police drama 21 Bridges alongside Sienna Miller.
Now that’s completed, he’s set to move towards a role in Expatriate, a film he’s also co-writing. Indiewire reveals he’s linking up with director Barry Jenkins for the anticipated 1970s hijacking thriller. Sometime after that will be one of the more eagerly anticipated releases for a generation; the sequel to Black Panther, as well as an opportunity to portray Yasuke in the first African Samurai.
Boseman was 37 before he landed the role as Jackie Robinson and had spent his entire career writing and producing, tirelessly putting in the hard yards looking for a big break. It did seem as though Hollywood stardom had passed him by, but with just a single chance in 42, he catapulted himself into the nation’s conscience.
It didn’t happen by accident; Boseman is a fine actor with a great range of skills and is equally as adept at playing historical figures as superheroes. He’s certainly a testament to any aspiring actors out there that your chance has never quite passed you by, not if you genuinely have the talent and application to seize it when presented to you.