Spike Lee Didn’t Know Chadwick Boseman Had Cancer But ‘He Did Not Look Well’ During ‘Da 5 Bloods’ Filming

Director Spike Lee is opening up about not knowing that Chadwick Boseman was sick with colon cancer while filming Da 5 Bloods, which was released earlier this year.

“I didn’t know Chad was sick. He did not look well, but my mind never took that he had cancer. It was a very strenuous shoot,” Spike told Variety. “I mean, we all didn’t get to Vietnam until the end of the movie at Ho Chi Minh City. But that other stuff, the jungle stuff, was shot in Thailand. It was 100 degrees every day. It was also at that time the worst air pollution in the world.”

“I understand why Chadwick didn’t tell me, because he didn’t want me to take it easy,” he added. “If I had known, I wouldn’t have made him do the stuff. And I respect him for that.”

He then revealed how he found out about the tragic news of Chadwick‘s death.

“That night, for some reason, I went to bed early. And the fact that I went to bed early, I woke up early. It must have been I was tired. I went to open my phone, and my phone — the whole thing had been blowing up. I turned it off. I was in shock,” he recalled. “And most recently, with my lovely wife, Tonya, we watched it [“Da 5 Bloods”] again for the first time after his transition. And it plays totally different. He’s a ghost already. You know the scene I’m talking about? It’s the scene where he comes back, him and Delroy. I felt it when we shot it.”

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