The heroic story of baseball legend Jackie Robinson is headed to the big screen in the Warner Bros. film, 42. While, the film is about Robinson making his Major League debut and integrating baseball, the heart of the story is the love he shares with his wife, Rachel Robinson (played by Nicole Behari). The star of the film, Chadwick Boseman, told CocoaFab’s Cherise Nicole that he was attracted to the role because it is very rare that we see black love stories in a major motion picture.
“I remember when I called director Brian Helgeland and I said, ‘You’re a genius man!’ I said it because I said it’s a love story and he just started laughing. Because I realized that I had not seen two black people in-love in a major motion picture. It’s crazy like I had never seen it before,” Chadwick tells CocoaFab.
So it’s a ‘double header’ to get a historical biopic about a larger than life figure and his love story. “Jackie Robinson in the past, helped us to expand our boundaries and our realities,” says Chadwick. “I think it’s fitting that this movie exposes it. You haven’t seen it. You haven’t seen this before.”
Chadwick then began to think back to other major motion pictures and what they offered, and reassured himself that 42 was one of a kind. “I mean I saw Claudine, I’ve seen Love Jones, but I’m talking about Warner Brothers, billboards going up, you know, trailers on TV and online. I had never in my lifetime seen this. You think you have, but you’ve only seen, Denzel have a wife but not a love story. You’ve seen Will Smith have a wife, it’s just kind of tacked on to the story. It’s not a love story and so, to be a part of that, something that seems so simple, but it makes you human. It makes you tangible, it’s revolutionary. In some ways it’s sad to say that.”
Celebrating black love is one of the after effects that Chadwick hopes viewers take away from this movie that is seemingly only about baseball. Watching him and Nicole Behari on-screen together is not only magical but it’s accurate and proves that black love was and is possible, especially in the face of such tough odds.
“Hopefully people—it’s probably the only time I’ll ever say this as an artist— but hopefully people copy it,” says Chadwick of the love viewers will seen on screen. “I think it will resonate with some other artist and they will want to create it hopefully investors will want to get behind it and studios…and it will not seem like such a strange thing , that we’ve thought we’ve seen before.”
We hope so too!. 42 hits theaters on April 12th.
TELL US: Do you think we need to see Black love portrayed more in major motion pictures?