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Crime News Bosco

How the Real Quawntay "Bosco" Adams Helped Produce the Peacock Biopic from Behind Bars

Quawntay Bosco Adams was eventually able to join the cast and crew on set after his release. 

By Stephanie Gomulka
Bosco key art for Peacock

A father’s determination to be at his daughter’s birth at all costs fuels his desire to escape from prison in the new Peacock Original Bosco

The drama is based on a true story of Quawntay “Bosco” Adams. He wrote his own autobiography Chasin’ Freedum in 2017, which piqued director Nicholas Manuel Pino’s interest in creating a movie about his life and hopefully help get him released.

Oxygen True Crime spoke to Pino and some cast members about working with Bosco and bringing his life’s story to the screen.

Quawntay “Bosco” Adams Collaborated with Filmmakers for the Movie on Prison Phone Calls Before His Release

Pino found Bosco’s story of adversity and determination to be reunited with his family incredible. Bosco was sentenced to 35 years in prison a federal conviction for possessing marijuana with intent to distribute in 2004.

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“We wanted to make this movie to try and help him get out,” Pino said. “Quawntay is just such an amazing, inspirational person.”

Bosco was still in prison when pre-production on the movie started, according to Pino, which presented some unique difficulties in getting Bosch’s feedback and insight. 

“I wrote the script and then he got a copy of it and then we worked to hone the script in for two years while he was still in prison,” Pino explained. “We were doing calls 15 minutes at time ‘cause that’s all they allow. … We did that for about a couple years, two years of just like ... 15 minutes here and there, just developing, developing, and then we got it moving and about three, four months before we were set to film, he argued his own case, fired his public defender, and got himself out.”

Aubrey Joseph as Quawntay Adams in Bosco

After his release in 2020, Bosco was also able to work on the Peacock film as a producer and join the cast and crew on location. 

“He was on set with us every day [along with] his daughter, which was just an amazing experience,” Pino said.

In addition to his work producing the film, Bosco has also become a motivational speaker and often spends time with his daughter.

Vivica A. Fox and Aubrey Joseph Star in Bosco

Aubrey Joseph (Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger, Little Fires Everywhere) stars as Bosco. He told Oxygen True Crime he felt honored Bosco trusted him to embody his character and help tell his story on screen. 

“The best thing that I can say is that he trusted me from the jump,” Joseph said, noting he comes from humble beginnings so it was easy for them to connect. “I think he noticed that and he noticed how passionate I was about telling his story and trying to get him out, so you know, he trusted me from the jump and I tried to pick his brain as much as I could.”

The “dopest” part of their collaboration was by the time they were filming, Joseph could talk to Bosco in between takes or scenes and ask him anything about the character, he told Oxygen True Crime. 

Vivica A. Fox (Kill Bill, Set It Off) plays the character Willa in the film.

Vivica A. Fox as Willa in Bosco

“I am such a fan and supporter of independent films,” Fox said about her involvement in the movie. “A lot of times, you know, actors get to a certain level and they won’t reach back, you know? They kinda sometimes get caught up and forget, at one time, you know they worked on that project that might’ve been very small, so sometimes, when you become a name, you know, you help with distribution, you help with financing, you help get stories told that would not be told.”

Fox made her own directorial debut last year with the BET+ original movie First Lady of BMF. She garnered a NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Directing in a TV Movie, Limited Series, or Dramatic Special. 

What Happened to the Character Tammy in Bosco in Real Life?

Nikki Blonksy (Hairspray) plays Tammy, a woman who answers a lonely hearts ad and helps Bosco escape from prison in the movie. 

In real life, the character is based on Tonya Goodwin, who was sentenced to two years probation after pleading guilty to assisting Bosco's final escape attempt, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Nikki Blonsky as Tammy in Bosco

Pino touched on if Tammy and Bosco had a relationship after his release. 

“I don’t think that they have any, you know, any contact after that,” Pino said. “[Tammy’s] a very sweet character…and naive and, you know, she wants to help.”

Bosco is streaming now on Peacock.

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