Martin Freeman ‘Couldn’t Believe No One Knew’ ‘Black Panther’ Co-Star Chadwick Boseman Had Cancer

Martin Freeman (at the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever London premiere) reflects on the “terrible” death of Chadwick Boseman. (Image: REUTERS/Toby Melville)

Martin Freeman Is Still Shocked That No One At Marvel Knew His Black Panther co-star, Chadwick Boseman, was seriously ill during filming, he says in a new interview about the action hero’s “terrible” death from colon cancer.

“It was terrible to lose him. It was terrible,” Freeman told Sky News of the Academy Award-nominated actor’s death in August 2020.

Freeman, 51, called the late star an inspiration “because of what he has accomplished.” Boseman lived with cancer for the last four years of his life. During that time, the actor starred in Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, 21 bridges, Da 5 Bloods, Ma Rainey’s black buttocks and Marvel’s What if?

“He was really remarkable. I couldn’t believe that no one knew,” said the BAFTA winner. “I said to people at Marvel, ‘Come on, you really must have known.’”

But no one was the wiser.

“Then you kinda go — you can never complain again. You can’t complain about… oh, we’ve waited a little long or my tea is a little cold when humans are capable of this superhuman act of fortitude,” Freeman said.

The British actor is the latest collaborator to talk about working with Boseman amid his battle with cancer. In January 2022, Denzel Washington spoke with: Variety about the deceased star, calling him “a man among men.”

“He suffered peacefully,” Washington told the outlet. “He made the movie and nobody knew. I didn’t know. He never said anything about it. He was just doing his job. I wondered if something was wrong because sometimes he seemed weak or tired. We had no idea “And it was nobody’s business. Good for him to keep it to himself.”

In September, Lupita Nyong’o spoke of grieving the star of the film as the cast filmed the sequel. Wakanda forever. “There was a lot of silence, reflection, prayer and meditation to support me as emotionally, mentally and spiritually as possible,” Nyong’o told the New York Times.

“It was a unique experience to step back into this world without our leader. When you have a second film there are a lot of expectations. But I think the loss of Chadwick took all that away. I found I had to radically accept that this was going to be different, and that the key was to appear as open as possible.”

Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said: Empire that Bosemen’s role as T’Challa will not be recast. The decision has sparked petitions from Marvel fans.

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