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'Epitome of Black excellence' | James Brown's daughter on how Chadwick Boseman captured her dad

Deanna Thomas Brown spoke with 11Alive Saturday morning and reflected on the actor's legacy.

ATLANTA — Chadwick Boseman earned renown as an actor for his ability to bring iconic figures to life - Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall, Black Panther.

Those roles also included James Brown, as towering and idiosyncratic a figure as an actor could step into.

Brown's daughter told 11Alive's Christie Diez in an interview Saturday, as she remembered Boseman after his unexpected passing at 43, that the skill with which he captured her father in 2014's "Get On Up" was nothing short of incredible.

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"He truly incorporated dad within him and his soul," Deanna Brown Thomas said. "He studied, he read books, he talked to the right people. And when he was in character, everybody had to call him Mr Brown on the set, whether they were filming or not. He kept his composure, he kept his craft."

She said she marveled at one particular scene in the film where he recreated Brown's walk. 

"Man when I tell you he walked like my dad it - was just surreal that he had that walk," she said. "He had his nuances, he had his little wave, little things that we told him, he did it... he was phenomenal."

The James Brown Family Foundation said Saturday that it would establish a scholarship in Boseman's name at its James Brown Academy of Musik Pupils.

"The tributes that are coming in for him is because of the type of person that he was," she said. "He was so intense in his craft."

Deanne Brown Thomas said even after filming for "Get On Up," was over, he kept a connection to the family. She said that "he was family to us."

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"He always kept in touch. He was a Southern guy, and he was just amazing. He was not the Hollywood type person that you would think, he was definitely the opposite," she said. 

Brown's daughter said she believes Boseman will leave a legacy as an inspiration to other young people entering the arts, someone who was "the epitome of Black excellence."

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