Chadwick Boseman Talks Playing Legend Jackie Robinson In 42

Actor Chadwick Boseman takes on the role of a lifetime, playing Jackie Robinson in the upcoming film, “42,” and in a new interview with Access Hollywood’s Shaun Robinson, he explained why this role is so meaningful as an actor.

“This is like playing Abraham Lincoln, a president, Muhammad Ali,” Chadwick told Shaun. “It’s a no-brainer that you would want to do it.”

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Chadwick said he had a premonition he would get the part, so he actually beefed up on his baseball playing skills.

“I played little league baseball,” Chadwick said of his skills prior to joining the movie’s cast.

“We went into a batting cage and hit some balls — just in case it might come up,” Chadwick said of getting ready for the role. “I wasn’t totally unprepared, but I wasn’t a big league ball player, I’m still not.”

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The film follows the story of Jackie Robinson, and how he came to sign with the Brooklyn Dodgers, breaking the color barrier as the first African-American to play in the major leagues.

“I think what he did was otherworldly,” Chadwick told Shaun of Jackie’s accomplishments. “It was a great sacrifice and it was something — he had to access something beyond himself. He was a religious man, he was a spiritual man, so I think it was a fruit of the spirit, he had to reach that scripture… where he accessed patience, gentleness, brotherly kindness… He was a fighter; he was a warrior, so he had to find other ways of fighting, other ways of battling this than responding in a way that would be detrimental to him and actually detrimental to the rest of his race.”

“42,” which also stars Harrison Ford as team executive Branch Rickey, hits theaters on April12.

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