Boseman and Davis were both nominated for awards (Best Actor and Best Actress respectively) for their roles in Netflix’s August Wilson adaptation Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
Asked about Boseman, who died of cancer last August, Davis said: “He was authenticity on steroids.
“Sometimes people honour people who actually were not very nice or [for whom] the persona did not match the real person. This… it matches the person, I’m telling you. This person, this human being, this artist, did not mistake his presence for the event. He absolutely honoured the work.”
Davis continued: “A lot of people enter this business because they want to be famous actors. They don’t want to be actors; they want to be famous actors. [Boseman] entered it because he just wanted to be an artist.”
The 93rd Academy Awards are taking place on 25 April, having been delayed for two months due to the ongoing pandemic.
The ceremony is being held primarily in Los Angeles’s famed Union Station, with nominees from outside of the US attending the event via international hubs.
Among the films competing for top awards are Chloé Zhao’s life-on-the-fringes drama Nomadland, and Emerald Fennell’s feminist revenge satire Promising Young Woman.
David Fincher’s Mank entered the night with the most nominations (10), including for Best Director, Best Actor for Gary Oldman and Best Supporting Actress for Amanda Seyfried.
The Father, Minari, Nomadland, Judas and the Black Messiah, Sound of Metal and The Trial of the Chicago 7 all had six nods apiece.
You can keep up with the latest Oscar developments here.