MLB Network is unspooling a rare Chadwick Boseman interview this week as part of its annual Jackie Robinson Day celebration.
The interview footage, which will air as part of MLB Network’s studio programming, is part of a sit-down the cable network did with Boseman just before the Jackie Robinson biopic 42 was released in 2013. In the interview, Boseman speaks about the commitment and importance he felt in portraying Robinson, who broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier when he debuted for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947.
“[C]hildren would know who Jackie Robinson [was] from my performance,” Boseman says as part of the interview in the clip below. “That set in for me that now I’m responsible for being the face of that and portraying all of the characteristics and the qualities, principles that the man lived under. I also knew that there were a lot of people who viewed him as a hero, that knew him very well and they would be let down if I didn’t live up to those expectations.”
In 2004, MLB started celebrating Jackie Robinson Day on April 15 each season to commemorate Robinson’s cultural importance and how he changed the game. Last year’s celebration was unable to take place on April 15 due to the pandemic. Instead, Jackie Robinson Day was celebrated Aug. 28 — the same day Boseman passed away after a battle with colon cancer.
The Boseman/42 interview segment will begin airing on MLB Network’s studio programming Wednesday ahead of the formal Jackie Robinson Day celebration Thursday. MLB Network will also broadcast the Rockies vs. Dodgers matchup at 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET.
Watch a clip from the interview below.