Most recently, Chadwick Boseman has starred as T’Challa in Black Panther (2018), but he has a couple excellent historical costume roles under his belt. Maybe when he gets done with all the Avengers movies, he’ll return to serious frock flicks? Boseman has commented: “People have said, ‘You don’t need to do any more biopics. You don’t need to play any more real people.’ I don’t agree with that.” How about something pre-20th-century with costumes befitting a prince?
Floyd Little in The Express (2008)
Even though he played a small part in this 1960s film, he was portraying a real person, the only three-time All-American running back to play for Syracuse University.
Jackie Robinson in 42 (2013)
Playing the first African-American to play Major League Baseball in the modern era, starting in 1947. Boseman said of this film:
“The story is relevant because we still stand on his shoulders. He started something — I would even say maybe he didn’t even start it, it started before him. But he carried the torch. And he carried it alone for a period of time before other people could help him.”
James Brown in Get on Up (2014)
In this unconventional nonlinear biopic, he plays the iconic musician from the 1940s almost to the end of his life. Chadwick told the Huffington Post how he prepared:
“I just threw myself into it with reckless abandonment. I started early every morning with five hours of dance rehearsals, and then after lunch I would have some vocal singing and speaking lessons to continue bridging the gap between James Brown and myself. Later I would sit down and read for a couple of hours and watch some footage to complete my research. That’s what I did every day!”
Thurgood Marshall in Marshall (2017)
Set the 1940s when Marshall was a young lawyer for the NAACP, this was Chadwick Boseman’s last film before becoming a massive comic-book/superhero star. Boseman talked to NPR about this role:
“For me, as an actor, when I first read this, I was like, wait a minute. I thought I was playing Thurgood Marshall. I thought I was going to have like these big courtroom speeches and, you know, I was going to be able to like use my Shakespearean training, my classical training. And that’s not the case because he’s silenced. So it becomes a really difficult task to win this case without being able to speak.”
Have you seen any of Chadwick Boseman’s historical biopics? What frock flicks would you like to see him in?