Chadwick Boseman is widely known for two things, playing Black Panther and playing Black icons, but now he finally gets to show off his acting chops as the lead role of Det. Andre Davis in 21 Bridges. Following in his father’s footsteps, Chadwick plays an embattled NYPD detective that gets thrust into a citywide manhunt for a pair of cop killers. During his investigation, things don’t quite seem to be adding up and it makes for a great gritty movie that doesn’t normally get made these days.
The antagonist of this film is played by another great Black actor known for playing Black icons, Stephan James who got rave reviews for playing John Lewis in Selma and then again as Jesse Owens in a movie titled Race, seeing these two great actors share the screen is a complete tread and today on Extra Butter with Xilla Valentine we get to see them shine in an interview.
First, they open up about the last time they’ve been in some bull-ish. Chadwick said he found himself in some bull sh*t as little as two weeks ago, but wouldn’t elaborate as to what BS, while Stephan gracefully explained that for us it’s inevitable even if you’re famous. “I think we are always susceptible to some BS especially being young and Black in this country. Just doing what we do, it doesn’t separate us from that at all.”
In the film, Stephan’s character, Michael, goes to hit an easy lick for 30 keys but turns out the place they were going to rob was actually held 300 keys and when they arrived the cops just happened to show up right behind them. Now Michael and his partner Ray, played by Taylor Kitsch have to shoot their way out killing 7 cops. Dead, all because someone left off a zero.
This is a great interview with Chadwick and Stephan take a look back over the last 5 years of there career, closing with Boseman explaining that this movie has something at risk.
“This film wasn’t made to campaign for awards, this isn’t that type of film necessarily, but at the same time I think it has equal value because it is like those crime cop thrillers from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. It the type of film where you do have action, you do have a sense of mystery, you do have an unsureness about what’s going to happen. There is something at risk if I’m quoting Scorcese about what makes cinema.”
Chadwick was making reference to Scorcese comments about Marvel films not being considered real cinema, and his clarification on the subject in the New York Times op-ed titled “Martin Scorsese: I Said Marvel Movies Aren’t Cinema. Let Me Explain.” Here he explains cinema is an art form that brings you the unexpected. In superhero movies, nothing is at risk.
In 21 Bridges Boseman puts on a masterful performance in a movie, I think is one of the year’s best films. Check out this episode of Extra Butter and go see 21 Bridges on November 22nd, in theaters everywhere.