Cold Case welcomed both Black Panther stars before they were famous

By: Start TV Staff     Posted: May 16, 2019, 2:29PM

Black Panther shattered expectations of superhero movies when it drew seven Oscar nominations last year, including Best Picture. The movie, which pitted Chadwick Boseman as T'Challa against Michael B. Jordan as Erik Killmonger, is even credited for the Academy Awards announcing an entirely new category Best Popular Film, an award the blockbuster would've surely won had it been invented in time for the most recent ceremony. 

The movie ultimately picked up three Oscars, recognized for its score, its costumes and the entire production, but among the nominations and wins, there were not any nods for the acting it took to convey its emotional storyline. Eventually, the Screen Actors Guild corrected this oversight by awarding the entire cast for its Outstanding Performance, including its two stars Boseman and Jordan.

If you were captivated by the tense rivalry these two actors created on the big screen, you might be curious where there careers began. It turns out both actors got their start in TV, with Jordan taking a bit part on The Sopranos in 1999 and Boseman appearing on Third Watch in 2003. By 2008, the actors would experience the first overlap in their trajectory to onscreen rivals when both starred in their own episodes of Cold Case.

Jordan appeared on Cold Case first, more visible after a recurring role as a teen drug dealer on The Wire. In the 2007 Cold Case episode "Wunderkind," Jordan played Michael Carter, half-brother to a 14-year-old boy genius who is so good at math, Jordan's character convinces him to get into safe-cracking. Its the half-brother whose unexplained death that Lilly investigates on the show, and the ending requires an angry performance from Jordan that shows a spark of where Killmonger came from.

The next year, it was Boseman's turn to take on Cold Case in the 2008 episode "Street Money," which aired the same year Boseman appeared in a recurring role as an estranged son of the star of Lincoln Heights. Unlike Jordan's stint on Cold Case, but kind of similar to his movie role in Black Panther, Boseman showed up as the victim, a promising young politican whose murder consumes Lilly. 

After their appearances on Cold Case, both actors continued to work on TV, both joining the casts of short-lived shows. Then in 2013, Jordan's fame rose after a critically-acclaimed dramatic performance in Fruitvale Station, followed by his starring turns in 2015 in Creed and Fantastic Four. Right around the same time, Boseman also started turning heads, impressing in the role of James Brown in Get on Up and playing an NFL draft prospect across from Kevin Costner in Draft Day.

So while the Black Panther cast continues to charm audiences by showcasing how close they all became on the cast while making the movie, just keep in mind that Lilly Rush shared scenes with both Black Panthers first.

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