Sunday was a bittersweet night for Chadwick Boseman‘s loved ones.
Six months after the actor’s death, his wife, Simone Ledward Boseman, accepted a Golden Globe award on his behalf. Chadwick won Best Actor in a motion picture-drama for his performance as jazz musician Levee Green in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. He’s the first Black winner in the category since 2007.
“He would thank God,” Simone began in her emotional acceptance speech. “He would thank his parents. He would thank his ancestors for their guidance and their sacrifices.”
It’s Chadwick’s first Golden Globe nomination and win for what would be his final film. The actor died in August 2020 from colon cancer at age 43.
Simone thanked several members of the Black Panther star’s team, on-screen and off, including director George C. Wolfe, mentor Denzel Washington and co-star Viola Davis.
“He would say something beautiful, something inspiring, something that would amplify that little voice inside of all of us that tells you you can, that tells you you can keep going, that calls you back to what you are meant to be doing at this moment in history,” she tearfully said.
“And I don’t have his words, but we have to take all the moments to celebrate those we love. So thank you HFPA, for this opportunity to do exactly that. And, honey, you keep ’em coming. Thank you,” she concluded.
Chadwick’s presence was felt throughout Sunday’s telecast.
During one memorable segment, TikTok star La’Ron Hines grilled young kids about 2021 Golden Globes nominees. There were plenty of hilarious moments (“Jane Fonda is a person who walks normally,” Queen’s Gambit is about “fire trucks” and “500 people” were in The Trial of the Chicago 7.) But there was only one question every single kid got right: “Who is Chadwick Boseman?”
Chadwick cemented himself as an Oscar frontrunner on Sunday night, beating out Riz Ahmed (The Sound of Metal) Anthony Hopkins (The Father), Tahar Rahim (The Mauritanian) and Gary Oldman (Mank) in the competitive category.
The posthumous win is certainly being celebrated by Davis. Prior to Sunday’s virtual ceremony, the actress and nominee made a point to explain that Chadwick’s accolades for the film are very much deserved.
“I have to say this,” she told Entertainment Tonight, “because a lot of times when Black actors are nominated for any award or get any accolades or get a spotlight, it is always with a caveat that it is only happening because we’re Black. Or it is only happening because such and such and such and such. It’s never deserved.
“Chadwick Boseman deserves it,” Davis added. “This is someone who did the work, who learned the trumpet. I mean, those long three, four-page monologues, are you kidding me? He did the work, and he did an extraordinary job.”
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