He passed away just over a month ago, but the legacy of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman's generosity lives on.
British actress Sienna Miller has opened up about her experience with the star during pay negotiations for 21 Bridges, the 2019 film in which they both starred, revealing that Boseman took a pay cut, offering up part of his salary to boost her own and bridge the gender pay gap.
"I didn't know whether or not to tell this story, and I haven't yet. But I am going to tell it because I think it's a testament to who he was," the 38-year-old told Empire. "This was a pretty big-budget film, and I know that everybody understands about the pay disparity in Hollywood, but I asked for a number that the studio wouldn't get to.
“And because I was hesitant to go back to work and my daughter was starting school and it was an inconvenient time, I said, ‘I’ll do it if I’m compensated in the right way.’ And Chadwick ended up donating some of his salary to get me to the number that I had asked for. He said that that was what I deserved to be paid.”
Boseman, who died on August 28 this year, was a producer on the police action-drama, and personally wanted Miller for the role.
“It was about the most astounding thing that I’ve experienced,” said the actress. “That kind of thing just doesn’t happen. He said, ‘You’re getting paid what you deserve, and what you’re worth.’ It’s just unfathomable to imagine another man in that town behaving that graciously or respectfully."
"In the aftermath of this, I’ve told other male actor friends of mine that story and they all go very, very quiet and go home and probably have to sit and think about things for a while," Miller added. "But there was no showiness. It was, ‘Of course I’ll get you to that number, because that’s what you should be paid.’”
Boseman's legacy of kindness
Despite his untimely death from colon cancer at the age of 43, a diagnosis he kept private, stories have abounded about the actor's generosity and good deeds.
A frequent visitor to the St Jude Children's Research Hospital in Tennessee, the actor visited and sat with many young patients who later took to social media to share their experiences.
“Chadwick stood in the pavilion to meet all the families there to see him, walked through St Jude and visited Target House. Imagine the inner and physical strength it took for him to do that!” shared a young patient named Zoe. “The entire time he did it with a smile on his face. He was a hero in his movies and is a hero to us at St Jude.”
And Nate Moore, an executive producer for Marvel, shared the final text message he received from Boseman: the pair worked together with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
"It was during lockdown, and we worked together to get a young boy a voice note from T'Challa, as well as a package of toys – no easy feat when we weren't allowed to leave our homes or go to the office," Moore told People.
After making sure the message and gifts got to the young boy, Boseman wrote to Moore: “It broke me, man, but we need to do that for them. People deserve abundant life, special moments. They’ve been through hell battling disease. If we were able to ease their suffering and bring joy for a moment, and hopefully moments as he goes through the bags, then we made a difference in his life.”