Many fans expressed concern for Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman after the actor posted a video of himself on Instagram on April 15, 2020. The clip in question started with Boseman paying homage to Jackie Robinson, the famous baseball player, since April 15 is Jackie Robinson Day. Fans might remember that Boseman played Jackie Robinson in the 2013 biopic, 42.
Boseman then announced “Operation 42,” a partnership that will honor Robinson with a donation of $4.2 million in protective medical equipment to hospitals in need due to the coronavirus pandemic. Boseman expressed that the circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic presented a perfect opportunity to remember and honor Robinson, whom he referred to as a “hero.”
The sizable donation will go to hospitals serving African American communities, as Boseman noted.
Boseman went on to explain that the high infection rate is partially because members of those communities are the front line workers who are still going to work, performing essential services such as driving buses and working as EMTs. Boseman likened the role of African-American and Latino workers during the pandemic to warriors being sent into battle, and lamented the lack of resources available to help them.
Although this initiative is amazing, Boseman’s announcement was somewhat overshadowed with concerns about his appearance.
After Boseman shared the wonderful news about “Operation 42,” some fans took to social media to comment on his apparent weight loss. Boseman’s transformation must have occurred sometime after November 2019, which marked his last red carpet appearance, and some of the actor’s followers are worried about his health.
One tweet responding to Boseman’s announcement read,
“Thanks for the generous donation! You have a big heart. But, please send out a post addressing the issue of your dramatic weight loss […] it was disturbing to see you looking very thin. Your fans love you dearly and are here to support you!”
Meanwhile, many Instagram commenters observed that the actor doesn’t look well, and inundated Boseman with questions about his health. Some wondered whether he may be preparing for a role, while others found all of the weight loss talk wildly inappropriate. Several commenters chided the others for focusing on Boseman’s weight loss, and not on his impressive generosity. Others agreed, and noted that whether the weight loss is for a role or due to a medical reason, it’s none of the public’s business.
If Boseman did lose weight for a role, it wouldn’t be the first time. Boseman vigorously trained for his gig as Jackie Robinson in 42, telling GQ,
“When we were training for 42, we had three and a half months of spring training, and it was two-a-days. So it was three hours of baseball practice in the morning, and then I would eat and go straight to conditioning sessions. And the sessions were like, I mean, madness, how hard it was.”
Boseman also noted how the workouts took a toll on his body, explaining,
“You’re in ninety-plus-degree weather all day, and you gotta steal the base fifty times in a row and slide right every time — I definitely had some moments stealing the bases when my body was like, ‘That’s it for the day!’ That’s it.”
Of course, we can’t say for certain whether Boseman is preparing for a role, but Boseman does seem to push the physical limits of endurance for every role he takes on, a commitment that’s tied to his acting philosophy. While preparing to play the King of Wakanda in Black Panther, he told Train Magazine,
“It is a lot of work, but the physicality is a key way into the character. You definitely have to tighten up the diet and the workouts. It just becomes a part of your day-to-life and a part of your lifestyle. And sticking with the regimented diet and exercise routine, harnessing Black Panther’s physicality, that’s as important as his psychology and motivations and his accent.”
As for Boseman’s upcoming roles, he’s set to appear in the 2020 TV series, The Black Child, and Black Panther II, which is scheduled for a 2022 release. Watch the video to learn why Chadwick Boseman’s Dramatic Weight Loss Is Raising Some Eyebrows.
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