Wednesday, May 29, 2024

“Get on Up” Producer Mick Jagger Praises Chadwick Boseman, the Second Member of Movie’s Cast Who Died Too Young


It was Mick Jagger whose production company produced the James Brown biopic “Get on Up.” That the movie, following “42,” that introduced Chadwick Boseman to the world. When the James Brown movie was announced, everyone said, Oh the guy who played Jackie Robinson. Chadwick was excellent as Jackie but still unknown. But when he burst on the screen as Mr. Brown, heads literally swiveled. “This guy can do anything.”

I went to the premiere at the Apollo Theater. So did Mick. Everyone was fawning over Chadwick, who was a wallflower. He let Mick be the celebrity for the night. When Mick was dancing at the after party with his family, Chadwick stood with me and my brother on the side. I was peppering him with kudos and questions, and he was extremely retiring. He didn’t want the attention. He was mesmerized by Mick Jagger dancing with his kids and imitating James Brown, too.

There’s a sad twist to the “Get on Up” story. Three years ago Nelsan Ellis, who played Bobby Byrd, died of a heart attack at age 39. It was drug related. Here we had two of the most talented actors of their generation dead way too young. Rest in power, gentlemen. I hope you get to meet up with Bobby and Mr. Brown and make a joyful noise in heaven.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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