Chadwick Boseman’s wife accepts her late husband’s posthumous Emmy, and reflects on Boseman’s final performance as T’Challa in What If…?
Chadwick Boseman’s wife, Taylor Simone Leward, reflected on Boseman winning a posthumous Emmy for his role in Marvel’s animated series What If…? The first animated series in the MCU, What If…? debuted on Disney+ on August 11, 2021. The series explores alternative timelines in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, considering different outcomes of major moments from MCU films. With favorable reviews from both fans and critics, the series was renewed for further seasons. What If…? season 2 is expected to premiere in 2023, and season 3 currently in development.
In episode 2 of season 1, entitled What If… T’Challa Became a Star-Lord?, Boseman reprised his Black Panther role as T’Challa, though only lending his voice to the animated series. The episode considers what would happen if a young T’Challa had been abducted by Guardians of the Galaxy‘s Yondu and the Ravagers rather than a young Peter Quill. Boseman’s appearance in What If…? would be his final performance before the beloved actor tragically passed away in August 2020 due to colon cancer. His performance in What If…? would go on to be nominated for Outstanding Character Voice-Over at this year’s Emmys.
At the Creative Arts Emmys, Boseman’s performance as T’Challa in What If…? won him a posthumous Emmy, which was accepted by his wife Taylor Simone Leward. In her acceptance speech (via Deadline), Leward said that Boseman’s last performance being nominated for the award was beautiful, and that she was honored to accept the award on her late husband’s behalf. Leward went on to say that she was in awe of Boseman’s “commitment and dedication,” and that he would be honored to have won. Read Leward’s full comment below:
“When I learned Chad was nominated, I started thinking of everything that was going on in the world and our world and being so in awe of his commitment and dedication and what a beautiful moment that one of the last things he would work on was something so important to him and to the world but also something new. You can’t understand your purpose unless you ask what if? What if the universe is conspiring in my favor? What if it’s me? Chad would be so honored and I am honored on his behalf.”
This award marks Boseman’s first Emmy nomination and win. While Boseman was both nominated for and won several awards during his lifetime, he also received many major nominations after his death. In 2021, Boseman was nominated for Best Actor for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom at the Academy Awards, and became the first Black performer to ever receive a posthumous Oscar nomination. Boseman also currently holds the record for most nominations in a single ceremony at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, where he was nominated for four awards in 2021.
Although Boseman has passed, he leaves an incredible legacy of work behind, and his performances are receiving exactly the praise they deserve. Though many of Boseman’s awards were centered on his dramatic work, Boseman made a massive impact with his portrayal of King T’Challa, and Marvel fans will never forget it. Leward’s reflection on Boseman’s last performance in What If…? brought tears to audience members’ eyes, and the award was more than well-deserved.