'Chad, thank you. I love you. I am so proud of you. Keep shining your light on us'
Gotham Awards, held virtually by the Independent Film Project, honoured late actor Chadwick Boseman, who passed away last year after a four-year battle with cancer.
Co-star Andre Holland and Boseman’s widow Taylor Simone Ledward delivered emotional speeches in memory of the late actor.
Holland, who worked with Boseman in acclaimed sports drama 42, said, “There was an acknowledgment in his face that his light would never be the same and there was also this clarity in his eyes that he was ready to meet that moment and many more.”
“Chad went on to play many more important characters and he always kept himself committed to his craft… he honored his calling each and every time he went to work. Chad had a way of being kind without being soft. Of being gracious without being officious. Of being tender without being sentimental.”
Holland continued, “He was special artist, a wonderful human, he made everyone better. And I will be forever grateful that he was my friend.”
Boseman was nominated for Best Actor for his performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom at the Gotham– an award that went to Riz Ahmed.
Boseman and singer Taylor Simone Ledward started dating in 2015. The couple tied the knot in a secret ceremony some time after October 2019.
She said in her speech, “He was the most honest person I ever met, because he didn’t just stop at speaking the truth: he actively searched for it in himself and those around him and in the moment. The truth can be a very easy thing for the self to avoid, but if one does not live in truth then it’s impossible to live in line with the divine purpose for your life. And so it became how he lived his life, day in and out. Imperfect and determined. In doing so, he was able to give himself over fully in every moment, to be totally present in his own life and in the lives of people he became.”
She elaborated on his passion and talent for the craft, “He was blessed to live many lives within his concentrated one. He developed his understanding of what it meant to be the none, the one, and the all. ‘A vessel to be poured into and out of,’ he said. “He harnessed the power of letting go and letting God’s love shine through… [He[ was not merely telling a story or reading lines on a page, but modeling a path to true fulfillment.”
She concluded, saying, “Chad, thank you. I love you. I am so proud of you. Keep shining your light on us.”