Thanks to his role in Black Panther, Chadwick Boseman is rapidly becoming a household name. However, he credits his acting prowess to going to Howard University, and an experience he had one summer at Oxford that was sponsored by none other than Denzel Washington. After keeping the experience to himself for years, Boseman recently shared how Denzel Washington paid for him to study at Oxford. He told Jimmy Fallon that Phylicia Rashad was teaching an acting class and got famous donors to help the college kids get overseas:
I didn't have money to pay for this, and so she [Rashad] got a few of her friends together and, you know, they paid for us to go. I didn't know at first--when I came back--and I've basically been holding this secret my whole career, [but] when I came back I got a beneficiary letter. And it said, 'Denzel Washington paid for you.' You know, and I was like, 'What?'
Speaking on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Chadwick Boseman revealed that he always wanted to tell Denzel Washington about that moment and how much the support meant to him as a college student. However, he was very nearly unable to achieve his goal when a feisty Rolling Stone reporter asked him about Oxford before the premiere of Black Panther. Chadwick Boseman ended up talking about the experience, hoping that Denzel wouldn't think he was trying to get something out of him. All was well that ended well, though.
The weird thing that happened is, I did the interview, and just before the movie came out we did the NY premiere and he came and I met him. Before the article came out, so I actually lived up to what I originally wanted to do.
Chadwick Boseman likely still would have made his mark as an actor without the experience at Oxford, but it is often moments that take us to a new place and out of our comfort zone that make the most lasting impressions. So, it's cool that he got to experience that thanks to someone like Denzel Washington. If you'd like to hear more from the story, you can catch the full The Tonight Show clip, below.
Black Panther is currently crushing it in theaters, and coming nearer and nearer the coveted billion dollar mark. Chadwick Boseman should be busy with Marvel for the near future, too, as Avengers: Infinity War is hitting theaters next month. Perhaps sometime down the line, however, we'll even see Boseman and Denzel Washington work together on a movie project.