Denzel Washington 'gracefully and privately' paid for Chadwick Boseman to study acting at Oxford
It is a sad day for Hollywood as the world woke up to the news of 'Black Panther' star Chadwick Boseman's death at the age of 43. The movie had become the first superhero movie to be nominated for the Academy Awards Best Picture in 2018. Boseman also earned himself immense praise over the course of his illustrious career. However, he might not have come all this far had it not been for double Oscar-winner Denzel Washington.
In 2018, Boseman had revealed that while studying at Howard University in the late '90s, he applied to a summer theater program at the University of Oxford. However, while he got a chance to admit himself, his financial situation wouldn't allow him to go. At the time, 'The Cosby Show' actress Phylicia Rashad, who was one of Boseman's acting teachers, had "pushed for us".
"She essentially got some celebrity friends to pay for us to go," he said. And the celebrity who paid his fees was none other than Denzel Washington. However, Boseman found this out only after the program when he got a beneficiary letter. "Denzel paid for me. I'm sure he has no idea... I've been waiting to meet him, so I can tell him."
A fan took to Twitter to share the video where Boseman expresses his gratitude to Washington for "gracefully and privately" paying the fees. "So Denzel once paid Chadwick Boseman's Tuition. This speech is very moving, Denzel was emotional," the fan tweeted. You can watch the speech here:
So Denzel once paid Chadwick Boseman's Tuition. This speech is very moving, Denzel was emotional pic.twitter.com/vHykJKpttq— bezaleel (@realbezaleel) May 26, 2020
"Imagine receiving a letter that your tuition for that summer was paid for and that your benefactor was none other than the dopest actor on the planet," he said.
He had even recalled the tale for Jimmy Fallon on NBC's 'The Tonight Show'. "I've basically been holding this secret my whole career. When I came back, I got a beneficiary letter and it said Denzel Washington paid for you".
Even Washington spoke about this publicly. In a subsequent interview on 'The Late Show with Stephen Colbert', Washington joked that he was still waiting for Boseman to pay him back. "I saw Ryan Coogler and Chad, and he said, 'Oh, you know, I just wanted to thank you for paying,' and I said, yeah, that's why I'm here. I'm not here to see — I liked the movie 'Black Panther', yeah, good, Wakanda Forever, but where's my money?'" Washington recalled on the show.
Washington paid tribute to Boseman, as an actor and human being. "He was a gentle soul and a brilliant artist who will stay with us for eternity through his iconic performances over his short yet illustrious career," he told the Hollywood Reporter. "God bless Chadwick Boseman."
Boseman's demise was announced in a statement from his family. He had been privately fighting colon cancer since 2016 — during which he filmed multiple movies. "A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much," his family said. "From 'Marshall' to 'Da 5 Bloods', August Wilson's 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' and several more — all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy. It was the honor of his career to bring King T'Challa to life in 'Black Panther'."