Leaving a huge impact on the landscape of 2020 film, director Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods contains a host of powerhouse performances from its ensemble of acting talent. Two of the most moving performances come from the late Chadwick Boseman and co-star Delroy Lindo as "Stormin'" Norman and Paul, respectively, both of which have seen an exciting amount of early awards season attention paid. But when it comes to Boseman himself, Mr. Lindo appreciated his scene partner the most for the attention that not only he received, but also a member of his family that just happened to be on set.
During an actor’s roundtable held by The Los Angeles Times, a group of actors including Delroy Lindo had the usual conversation you’d expect to happen around this time of year. Sadly, with Chadwick Boseman’s untimely passing in 2020, part of that talk was reserved for how everyone present missed his presence, especially in light of his luminary final performances delivered in the past year. But when it came to Lindo’s recollections of working with his co-star on Da 5 Bloods, he recalled the following story as why he was so appreciative of his fellow actor:
The thing that I really value enormously [is] the fact that Chadwick was open and welcoming to my son [on set], which is indicative for me of the depth of his empathy. On top of that was the enormity and the magnitude of his talent. The very first scene that he worked on in the film with me was the scene that takes place at the end, when his character and my character come together at the stream. That was his first day at work. He and I had met very, very briefly, for five or 10 minutes, prior to our working on this scene, and he just brought it. He was prepared. He was committed. He was in it.
This story of Chadwick Boseman’s giving nature lines up perfectly with the image that he projected, both through his work and his personal presence. The late Black Panther star’s personable nature and intense professionalism both shine in this story from Delroy Lindo. Treating Lindo’s son with an “open and welcoming” nature shows just how nice of a man Boseman truly was, but the fact that a 5-10 minute meeting was all that took place before that key Da 5 Bloods scene makes the end result even more impressive than it already is based on performance alone.
We’re about to dive into spoilers for Da 5 Bloods, so consider this your spoiler warning.
While “Stormin’” Norman’s presence is felt throughout Da 5 Bloods, he’s actually only on screen for a handful of moments. But one of the most crucial moments is when Delroy Lindo’s Paul, returning to Vietnam to try and get rich quick with some former squad mates, meets with the spirit of his former commander. Confronting the dark truth that Da 5 Bloods weaves into its story, which reveals that Paul actually killed Norman in an accidental moment of friendly fire, is resolved with the moment Lindo mentions in his memory above, which can be seen below:
All it took was 5-10 minutes of conversation for Chadwick Boseman and Delroy Lindo to form a bond that spanned decades on film. Just as Mr. Lindo appreciated Mr. Boseman’s time on set, and his treatment of others, we the audience can appreciate his Da 5 Bloods performance all the better. It’s a landmark role in a blisteringly timely film, which can currently be enjoyed on Netflix.