Once you get past Chadwick Boseman’s Rolling Stone cover, inside you’ll find the Black Panther star sharing how while he attended Howard University, legendary actress Phylicia Rashad became his mentor.
Boseman enrolled at Howard University to study directing, and that’s how he met Phylicia Rashad.
Via Rolling Stone:
Boseman took extra acting classes to help improve his directing. One of his teachers was Phylicia Rashad, a.k.a. Clair Huxtable from The Cosby Show. She became his mentor. “She would do a play in D.C. and you’d go see it, and she’d drive you home and talk to you,” he says. “ ’How you eating? You look too skinny. You need a pork chop.’ We were just trying to aspire to her excellence.”
Rashad has fond memories of Boseman. “Chad was this lanky young man with big eyes and an endearing smile and a very gentle way,” she says. “What I saw in him was the sky was the limit. He never asked me to introduce him to anyone – that’s not his way. He was going to make it on his own merits.”
While taking Rashad’s class, Boseman and some of his classmates applied to a prestigious summer program at Oxford to study theater. They were accepted, but they didn’t have the money to go. “She pushed for us,” Boseman says. “She essentially got some celebrity friends to pay for us to go.” (“I don’t want to say who paid for me,” he adds. “No, it’s not Bill Cosby.”)
It was another legendary Black actor by the name of Denzel Washington…. Who Boseman wants to meet one day to say, “Thank You!”
“After we got back, we got a benefactor letter. Denzel paid for me. I’m sure he has no idea. “It was random,” said Boseman. At the time, Boseman wrote Washington a thank you letter, but interestingly enough, the two have never met. Boseman says he looks forward to the day when he can thank Washington in person.