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Viola Davis shares clip of Chadwick Boseman playing guitar on set of Ma Rainey's: 'A gift!'


Chadwick Boseman plays a trumpeter named Levee in Netflix’s latest flick Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, which hit the streaming platform on December 18.

And co-star, Viola Davis, took to Instagram on Tuesday to share footage of the late actor expertly playing guitar on set of the drama film in 2019.

‘THIS was Chadwick! A gift. #MaRaineyFilm #BTS #Netflix @thechadwickrealm,’ captioned Davis, 55, who plays the title character in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

Boseman died this past summer at 43 after a four-year colon cancer battle.

Multitalented: Chadwick Boseman's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom co-star, Viola Davis, took to Instagram on Tuesday to share footage of the late actor expertly playing guitar on set of the drama film in 2019

Multitalented: Chadwick Boseman’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom co-star, Viola Davis, took to Instagram on Tuesday to share footage of the late actor expertly playing guitar on set of the drama film in 2019

In the behind-the-scenes video, Chadwick plucked at the strings of an acoustic guitar, while donning one of his character’s 1920s inspired get-up.

He delivered the impromptu performance from the comfort of a fold out chair as other cast and crew gathered around him during a brief break from filming.

Viola’s share-worthy video of Boseman comes just days after another one of the actor’s Ma Rainey co-stars, Colman Domingo, revealed that he truly learned to play’ trumpet for his role in the film. 

Chadwick Boseman and Viola Davis backstage together at the 2016 NAACP Awards

Chadwick Boseman and Viola Davis backstage together at the 2016 NAACP Awards

The Black Panther star inspired his costars to hone their playing skills for the film, said Domingo, who plays Cutler in the movie.

‘I think everyone was like, ‘Oh, that’s what you’re doing, Chad? Okay, now I’m gonna learn too,” Domingo said in a promotional clip. ‘I love that [he’s] like, ‘Yeah, I’m gonna challenge you. We’re gonna challenge each other.”

Glynn Turman, who portrays Toledo, remembered hearing Chadwick practicing during production in Pittsburgh in August of 2019.

The latest: Chadwick Boseman 'truly learned to play' trumpet for his role in Ma Rainey¿s Black Bottom, according to his costar in the Netflix movie, Colman Domingo

Last role: Boseman played a musician named Levee in the motion picture

The latest: Chadwick Boseman ‘truly learned to play’ trumpet for his role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, according to his costar in the Netflix movie, Colman Domingo

A gift: 'THIS was Chadwick! A gift. #MaRaineyFilm #BTS #Netflix @thechadwickrealm,' captioned Davis, 55, who plays the title character in Ma Rainey¿s Black Bottom; Viola pictured in 2019

A gift: ‘THIS was Chadwick! A gift. #MaRaineyFilm #BTS #Netflix @thechadwickrealm,’ captioned Davis, 55, who plays the title character in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom; Viola pictured in 2019

‘We were all staying in the same hotel,’ Turman said. ‘It started sounding like, you know, a music school. You get off the elevator and you could hear Chadwick, you know, working on it.

‘Made you say, ‘Hey, I don’t want to practice right now, but I better get to start practicing.”

Viola Davis stars as blues icon Ma Rainey in the musical drama, which is based off August Wilson’s play. Denzel Washington, who starred with Davis in her Oscar-winning turn in the 2016 adaption of Wilson’s Fences, is a producer on the movie.

Dedicated: The late actor inspired his costars to hone their playing skills for the film, said Domingo

Dedicated: The late actor inspired his costars to hone their playing skills for the film, said Domingo 

Beloved: The actor died in August at 43 after a four-year colon cancer battle

Beloved: The actor died in August at 43 after a four-year colon cancer battle

Davis last week told Yahoo! Entertainment that she ‘broke down’ hearing news of Boseman’s death on August 28, 2020.

She added: ‘Lord knows we all would’ve wanted him to live another 50 years. We all want longevity. But I can’t see his life tragically at all … Because I felt like he was always living in the moment, squeezing out every bit of life. What it makes me think is, it’s not the quantity, it’s the quality.’

Production of the film, featuring Michael Potts, Boseman and Colman Domingo, took place in Pittsburgh in August of 2019

Production of the film, featuring Michael Potts, Boseman and Colman Domingo, took place in Pittsburgh in August of 2019 

Viola Davis (flanked by Boseman and Domingo) stars as blues icon Ma Rainey in the musical drama, which is based off August Wilson's play

Viola Davis (flanked by Boseman and Domingo) stars as blues icon Ma Rainey in the musical drama, which is based off August Wilson’s play  

Boseman, best known for his role as King T’Challa in Black Panther, also starred in movies like 42, Marshall, Get on Up and Draft Day.

The actor was diagnosed with stage three cancer in 2016, and underwent ‘countless surgeries and chemotherapy’ in his battle with the disease, his family said, adding that he ‘died in his home, with his wife and family by his side,’ adding that ‘it was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther.’

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is streaming on Netflix now. 



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