One of the toughest blows to come from 2020 was Chadwick Boseman’s passing from colon cancer, a battle he fought privately.
The groundbreaking actor jumped from one iconic role to the other throughout his career, playing iconic parts like T’Challah in Black Panther, Jackie Robinson in 42, James Brown in Get On Up and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in Marshall.
Off-screen, stories of his kindness were common. Boseman understood the significance of his roles in Black history and culture and as a result, became a strong role model.
Since his passing, those close to Boseman have shared how the actor impacted their lives and the lives of others. Black Panther castmates Danai Gurira and Lupita Nyong’o both wrote heartbreaking tributes that showcase Boseman as a true leader. In her tribute, Gurira wrote how easy it was for her to play a character that protects Boseman’s king:
“He was the epitome of kindness, elegance, diligence and grace. On many an occasion I would think how thankful I was that he was the leading man I was working closely with. A true class act. And so perfectly equipped to take on the responsibility of leading the franchise that changed everything for Black representation.”
Now, actor Sienna Miller is sharing her special Boseman story. recently, she revealed that Boseman donated a portion of his salary to her so she could be paid fairly.
Miller is an accomplished actor in her own right, with a Golden Globe nomination under her belt. The two co-starred together in 2019’s 21 Bridges, an action/thrilled in which Boseman plays an NYPD detective and Miller plays a narcotics detective.
In the November edition of Empire, which is a tribute to Boseman, Miller shares the story with journalist Alex Godfrey.
A couple of weeks ago I spoke to an emotional Sienna Miller about working with Chadwick on 21 Bridges. This is a story she particularly wanted to tell.https://t.co/1w0b8HB9Wb— Alex Godfrey (@MrGodfrey) September 28, 2020
It turns out Miller wasn’t interested in acting, until Boseman reached out to her personally.
“He produced 21 Bridges, and had been really active in trying to get me to do it,” Miller told Godfrey. “He was a fan of my work, which was thrilling, because it was reciprocated from me to him, tenfold. So he approached me to do it, he offered me this film, and it was at a time when I really didn’t want to work anymore. I’d been working non-stop and I was exhausted, but then I wanted to work with him.”
While Miller was unsure about sharing how Boseman stepped up for her, she eventually decided the story is a testament to his giving legacy.
“This was a pretty big-budget film, and I know that everybody understands about the pay disparity in Hollywood, but I asked for a number that the studio wouldn’t get to. And because I was hesitant to go back to work and my daughter was starting school and it was an inconvenient time, I said, ‘I’ll do it if I’m compensated in the right way.’ And Chadwick ended up donating some of his salary to get me to the number that I had asked for. He said that that was what I deserved to be paid.”
Miller added that when she tells her male friends this story, many of them go quiet.