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Chadwick Boseman on '21 Bridges' & His Love-Hate Relationship w/ Cops | MTV News


– This is exciting 'cause I think we can actually talk about your movie a little bit, I feel like I'm usually talking to you about movies you can't say anything about – That's very true

– [Interviewer] (laughs) This must be a new experience for you – That's, that's very true, yeah It is, it's weird, it's weird And people are still trying to ask me about the movies I can't say anything about – [Interviewer] Right

So, '21 Bridges' is the movie, – Right – [Interviewer] Congratulations man, so you're starring in this one, you produced this one, talk to me a little bit about so, where this came, this is the first post-'Black Panther' acting choice for you you know, new opportunities have been growing in the last couple years, why was this one the one to put your muscle behind, to put your time and energy into? – Well, one, the Russo Brothers were very opportunistic, they came up to me at the 'Infinity War' premiere, maybe they offered it to me because they felt bad about killing me off – Survivor's guilt (both laugh) The upside is we got another movie for you – We want to offer you something else So yeah, they came to me and were like you know we have this movie we want you to do, we're going to make a offer in the next couple of days I read the script, I was like oh yeah I kind of like this, I kind of like this

I felt like it still needed some work I met with the director and we hit it off, you know, we hit it off, I felt like he was somebody that I could trust, that I could work with, and I liked the concept of the movie, the idea of shutting down the city to find these cop killers I did feel like a real sense of New York when I read it, and, you know, I lived in New York for years so that sort of pulled me back into it, you know, my being homesick in some sort of way – Yeah Did the script or the production remind you of any films that you grew up with, were you guys striving for anything? – Oh yeah I wouldn't necessarily say striving for any other type of film, 'cause you don't want to get stuck in that, but yeah, like I think films like 'Heat' were, you know, that's there's two sides in this film, you are watching the guys who are running away, you're watching the guys who are chasing, and I knew that both of those sides needed to be strong, so that's why 'Heat' was one of the ones that really stuck with me

'LA Confidential' Those are the type of movies that sort of spoke to me and that I watched continuously while doing this – It makes sense too, given the casting that you've done on this film, because like on both sides of the relationship, you know you've got some sizable acting talents throughout

Did you point the producers and director towards anyone in particular? – Oh, I pointed – You were like, I got some ideas (both laugh) – I definitely, I definitely– – Who were your ideas? – I did more than that Definitely had conversations about every actor that was there, that's in our cast Really pushed for Sienna Miller, and, who was also the director's first choice, and Stephan James, for me I knew, just from watching his work

Previously, you know, knew Barry Jenkins and had heard how great his work was going to be in Beale Street So I was telling the producers, I was like no this is the guy, like this is the guy we need to cast And so, really pushed them to go in that direction, and I think they are very much satisfied with that choice – Talk to me a little bit about the research that goes into something like this, and also shooting it in New York Especially given that you're doing all this in the months after, presumably 'Black Panther' hit

Is that tough to not get people recognizing you, and are there a lot of Wakanda forever moments in the midst of ride-alongs? – Oh my gosh Shooting anywhere is like, is like a problem because, you know, I remember, I remember it like, I don't even want to give you specific spots But, but definitely like you're shooting on the street, and you look above and people are like doing this at you, – (laughs) Not now and calling out your name, speaking in African accents, doing all sorts of things like that You're like, this is a different movie okay, like no, like that's all happening, you know

– That's a good, it's a by-product – It's a good problem to have – Yeah exactly Growing up, what was your relationship, attitude about cops? – Not necessarily a good one, you know what I mean, like it's one where, you know, I've been harassed, I've been pulled over for no reason, I've had five to six cops show up for my headlight being out protested against police brutality incidents, like so, I have a love-hate relationship The other side though, is one of my dad's best friends was a cop growing up, and I remember him coming over to the house and playing games with him, and riding in his car

So I have that experience as well So you know, I think that is part of what is compelling about the movie, is 'cause I have both of those experiences I have the experience of the cop that is the community person, that could be friends with my dad who also has those same conflicts Then I have my teenage/college/adult life experiences – Still happen? What's the last one that happened? – You talking about now? – Yeah, well I mean no, you never know

– Now cops escort me – (laughs) Yeah, it's a different relationship I just, you never know – Come on, that's, they escort me But, what's funny is, if there's a situation where I, because I'm the type of person that when I'm not in the limelight or I'm not being seen– – In an environment like that, sure yeah yeah

– Yeah, I can disguise myself, I'm an actor, I can disguise myself There have been situations where people don't know who I am where it's like oh, I'm just like everybody else, and I appreciate that actually because I don't ever want to get removed from the realities of what my people go through – Sure Tell me a little bit about you producing this one, and as I said, sort of like starting to reap the rewards of being a part of something like The Avengers and 'Black Panther' What's the priority for you right now in terms of steering your own career and providing opportunities for other people? – Well, I think this is an example, like, you know, Stephan's character didn't have to be Black you know, we pushed for that because we thought it was the best storytelling

And I pushed for that because I felt like he was the best actor, and I think it adds a certain element to the movie that you wouldn't have some of the commentary that could happen if he wasn't cast And as an extension to that, I think the other work that I want to do, is, you know, being able to tell stories that have not been told Not necessarily good and bad guys, but antiheroes, complicated characters Because I felt like our audiences have to grow and that aesthetic has to continue to change and progress All of that is definitely part of the stuff that I want to do and it's reflected in the things that I have in the queue

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