Janelle Monáe shares her last memory of Chadwick Boseman dancing at an Oscars party
As she shared with Stephen Colbert on The Late Show Tuesday night, promoting her performance in the film Antebellum, there was that time when she first met Boseman while he and her close friend Lupita Nyong'o filmed Black Panther in Atlanta, the same city where Monáe was recording her Dirty Computer album at the time.
"I just said, 'I would love to host you guys,' and they all showed up one night," Monáe said. "We ate, we listened to music," she added. "I just remember Chadwick that night being so present. We were not talking about work, we were not talking about the past, we were just right there. He was playing drums. We were dancing."
Monáe remembers feeling nervous about releasing Dirty Computer, so she played songs off the album that nobody else had heard at the time. "The encouragement I got from him, seeing him smile, seeing him dance, you could feel that his spirit was one of one wanting to give, give people the feeling of love, the feeling of hope—even at parties where we're supposed to be drinking and acting wild and crazy," she said. "He still took that time to tell me that he was proud, he was excited, he would dance with me and made me feel like, yeah, I can release this project."
The singer-songwriter-actress would meet Boseman again, months before he would die from colon cancer on Aug. 28.
"I had a chance to dance with him one last time this year," she shared. "It was at an Oscars party and he tapped me on my shoulder. I'll never forget it. He tapped me and he said, 'Let's have this dance.' And we danced fo a good three, four minutes, smiling." Monáe said they both loved James Brown. Boseman had also played Brown in 2014's Get On Up. They were "trying to figure out who could out-James-Brown each other dancing," she said. "I just remember that moment and I will always hold that dear to me and I will always try to live in the present because I saw him living in the present."
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