Chadwick Boseman Gets Emmy Posthumously for ‘What If…?’

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Photo: Otakultura

Chadwick Boseman posthumously won an Emmy Award for his last performance of T’Challa.

At this weekend’s Creative Arts Emmy ceremony, the Black Panther protagonist was given the outstanding character voice-over performance award for his acting on the Marvel animated series What If …?

We lost Boseman to cancer in August 2020 at the age of 43. But before his death, he returned as Black Panther for What If…? and voiced an alternate universe version of T’Challa.

Instead of chronicling T’Challa’s journey to becoming the Black Panther and future King of Wakanda, the series follows a world where Boseman’s hero ends up in space and eventually takes on the name Star-Lord.

Taylor Simone Ledward, Boseman’s wife, attended the Emmy acceptance ceremony, saying before the crowd, “Chad would be so honored, and I’m honored on his behalf.” 

“When we learned that Chad was nominated for this award, I started thinking about everything that was going on when he was recording – everything that was going on in the world and in our world and just being in such awe of his commitment and his dedication,” Ledward told the audience, according to The Hollywood Reporter. 

“And what a beautifully aligned moment it really is that one of the last things he would work on would not only be revisiting a character that was so important to him and his career and to the world, but also that it be an exploration of something new, diving into a new potential future.” 

Ledward went on to say that her husband’s award win for What If…? was very significant considering how much Boseman loved portraying T’Challa and how the series is about “finding the reason that you are here on the planet.” 

“You can’t understand your purpose unless you’re willing to ask, ‘What If,’ unless you’re willing to say, ‘What if the universe is conspiring in my favor, what if it’s me?’” she elaborated. 

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Boseman Loved T’Challa

Boseman bested co-nominees, including Moon Knight’s F. Murray Abraham, Bridgerton’s Julie Andrews, Big Mouth’s Maya Rudolph, Central Park’s Stanley Tucci, What If…?’s Jeffrey Wright, Archer’s late Jessica Walter. 

What If…? head writer A.C. Bradley said in a previous interview with EW that Boseman was passionately involved in the series’ portrayal of T’Challa, providing notes on scripts and storylines. 

“He cared about T’Challa so much,” Bradley said. “All the actors care about these characters, but Chadwick Boseman understood the power of Black Panther and his role as an icon.”

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