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Essential Cinema!

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom Production Stills

Source: Courtesy Netflix

Everyone’s buzzing over “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” that delivers dazzling performances by Chadwick Boseman and Viola Davis in a soul-stirring showcase of Black excellence that stays will you long after its tragic ending.

Netflix’s latest movie-of-the-moment is directed by George Wolfe who, along with Davis, spoke about their approach and inspiration in making this dynamic film during a recent press junket.

“There is a tendency with plays to break the fourth wall,” said Wolfe. I wanted to keep a sense that this was private. Who is someone in private. I really wanted to capture Ma Rainey in private as much as I could. When Denzel and I were talking we talked about Viola and we talked about Chadwick and we were fortunate to get him.

Chadwick put his entire being into Levee. It’s a phenomenal character and he put his entire heart and being into it. Working on this film it was a joy to work with everyone.”

Viola Davis also gave a glowing recollection of her time with Chadwick and it’s clear she was moved by his performance as much as his humanity:

“Not to compete with Chadwick’s mother but Chadwick is my baby. It was my second time working with him because I played his mom in Get On Up. Chadwick was an artist, that’s just what he was. He loved it. He demanded it. It was almost like it was a silent agreement.

For someone so young it was incredible to watch. Not mistaking your presence for the event. I remember when he was doing one of his monumental scenes. He would rest on the stairs and he would go, “Yeah, yeah, and gesture and it was just as ferocious and just as intense and flawlessly involved in making the adjustment.”

She also spoke on the padded suit that she had to wear to more accurately portray Ma Rainey in her true physical form:

“I was going for the body structure of my Aunt Joyce. She was of a certain size but she was beautiful. She had a mouthful of gold teeth. I had sweat put on me. If they say a character is a certain way that’s who they are. When they put the padding on I felt very free and cute. I liked swinging my hip a certain way.”

Did you love or LOVE Ma Rainey? Do you think Chadwick AND Viola will win Oscars for their roles? Tell us down below and peep the Twitter hysteria on the flip.

“Viola after playing Annalise and Ma Rainey” – *cackles*

“Thought that was her niece?????” – lololololol

“A $600 #StimulusCheck is all you need” – Ma Rainey is the mood of all moods

“Ma Rainey when they don’t have her Coke” – she wasn’t playing around

“A woman like me need a man to bring it and put it in my hand.”

Dussie “City Girl” Mae” – she was bout her business

“How I survived 2020 in two pictures” – mannnnnn

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“goddammit levee. they were just joking” – things escalated so quickly

“Cutler swung on Levee for Christ!!! And Levee pulled out a blade!!!!

THE DRAMA!!!!” – spicyyyy

“Not “my jelly roll” – it was kinda catchy tho

“I ain’t never been the same fool twice” – a word

“It went over your head if you thought it was about the shoes” – what a performance


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