Category: Press

Press: Michael B. Jordan Nominated for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture

Press: Michael B. Jordan Nominated for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture

The NAACP has announced the nominees for the 51st NAACP Image Awards, and congratulations are in order. Just Mercy scored 6 nominations including:

Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
• Michael B. Jordan – “Just Mercy” (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Outstanding Motion Picture
• “Just Mercy” (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Outstanding Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture

• “Just Mercy” (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture

• Jamie Foxx – “Just Mercy” (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Outstanding Breakthrough Performance in Motion Picture
• Rob Morgan – “Just Mercy” (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture (Film)
• Destin Daniel Cretton, Andrew Lanham – “Just Mercy” (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Learn more about the NAACP Image Awards:

Presented annually, the NAACP Image Awards is recognized as the nation’s preeminent multicultural awards show from an African American point of view. The event celebrates the outstanding achievements and performances of people of color in the arts, as well as those individuals or groups who promote social justice through their creative endeavors.

Honorees, presenters, performers and social justice advocates continue to include many of the major celebrities in America as well as international political figures and dignitaries. There are 60 competitive categories in the fields of motion picture, television, recording and literature. There are also several honorary awards including the Chairman’s Award, President’s Award, Vanguard Award, Entertainer of the Year, The Jackie Robinson Sports Award, and the Image Awards Hall of Fame.

Information about purchasing tickets:

Tickets for the 51st NAACP Image Awards will be available through Ticketmaster beginning January 14, 2020. If you would like to be notified when tickets go on sale, please click here and fill out the notification form.

Source: NAACP Image Awards

Press: How Michael B. Jordan and the real-life lawyer he plays in ‘Just Mercy’ hope to spark change

Press: How Michael B. Jordan and the real-life lawyer he plays in ‘Just Mercy’ hope to spark change

Michael B. Jordan began studying Bryan Stevenson the first time they met, sneaking glances at the noted civil rights attorney whom he now plays in the true-life drama “Just Mercy.” How he spoke, how he drank his tea, any detail he could take in to better understand what makes Stevenson the person he is, a lawyer and activist devoted to righting systemic injustices and bringing humanity and change to the prison system.

“I was sizing him up the whole time,” Jordan said, flashing a megawatt smile at Stevenson as they sat, reunited, on a September day in Toronto, earning an amused grin in return. “I thought I was doing it without him noticing, but he told me he kind of felt it.”

They laughed, falling into an easy rhythm — the movie star and the lawyer, whose personal missions intertwine in “Just Mercy,” which opens nationwide Friday after a limited Christmas berth.

Jordan, 32, known for his roles as Oakland police-brutality victim Oscar Grant in “Fruitvale Station,” villain Erik Killmonger in “Black Panther” and boxer Adonis Creed in “Creed,” plays Stevenson in “Just Mercy” at a formative time in the jurist’s life, as an eager young lawyer whose calling is awakened as he represents condemned men and is confronted with injustice, corruption and racism.

Now 60, Stevenson is cofounder of the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit that combats racial and economic inequity in the criminal justice system. In a 35-year career he’s saved 125 prisoners from death row, including condemned men whose cases and traumas are depicted with sensitivity in “Just Mercy.” He speaks passionately and urgently, but also with a sense of optimism.

Yet before he became a prominent advocate in the justice reform movement, one who inspired others to action in a viral TED Talk, Stevenson was the idealistic young lawyer we meet in the opening scenes of “Just Mercy,” — inexperienced, under-resourced and unprepared for the adversaries and obstacles that come his way as he sets out to represent death row inmates, mostly poor minorities, in the deep South.

It is this Stevenson whom Jordan locates at a pivotal moment in his professional and emotional life. “Just Mercy,” directed by Destin Daniel Cretton (“Short Term 12”) and written by Cretton and Andrew Lanham, is based on Stevenson’s 2014 memoir of the same name. It tracks his career circa 1988, when as a 28-year-old attorney he took on the case of Walter McMillian, an African American man sentenced to die in Alabama for the murder of a white woman, despite his claims of innocence and dozens of witnesses corroborating his claim.

Through proximity to his first death row clients, Stevenson developed a deep sense of empathy for the humanity they were so often denied by the system. Most were disproportionately disadvantaged and many had no access to legal aid or were suffering under excessive punishments, largely discarded and forgotten by society.

His book became a bestseller but he realized that its message could reach even more people in film form. “I just wanted people to see what I’ve seen for the last 35 years,” Stevenson said in August in Los Angeles. “I’ve seen people crushed by inequality and injustice … and I just believe that my reactions are not unique.”
Open eyes

Jordan signed on to produce and star in the project after being introduced to Cretton by his “Black Panther” and “Fruitvale Station” director, Ryan Coogler. As an actor, “Just Mercy” presented new dramatic challenges. As a producer through his Outlier Society company, Jordan put his “inclusion rider” into practice, mandating a policy of inclusive hiring on the Warner Bros. release. He also recruited Jamie Foxx for a pivotal role in the passion project.

“Michael B. has that spirit where he kind of treats everybody the same, whether you’re an intern or a PA or the director or a producer,” said Cretton. “And that’s also the spirit of Bryan Stevenson, so he’s kind of the perfect person to play him.”

To throw his professional weight into getting “Just Mercy” made felt like “growth,” said Jordan. “I always wondered if I would be able to do it, if there was ever going to be a time when I would be in that position of having that power to get a movie greenlit, and to play by my production company’s rules, in the sense of having the inclusion rider. It was a first step for me — the first of many, hopefully.”

He also felt a kinship with Stevenson and the roots of his empathy and activism. “I think growing up poor and inner-city, you’re naturally empathetic,” said Jordan, who grew up in Newark, N.J. “When you’re taught to care about family and to support one another, it’s an empathetic thing that you have for each other, and I think that’s where the roots of that started. Me feeling like I’m just a person who’s a part of the universe, I want to do my part to contribute to that.”

“I identify really strongly with that,” said Stevenson, who was raised in rural Delaware in the 1960s. “I also grew up in a really poor community and there was always somebody who had less than you had, and that gave you a consciousness about them.” Playing music in church as others shared testimonials of their own trials also cultivated in him a sensitivity to others, he added.

“It just opened your heart and your mind and your eyes to the needs of other people,” he said. “Once, as Michael says, you’re open to that, you can’t really turn it off. And I don’t want to turn it off. Some people try hard to turn it off because it feels so challenging.

“You do see things you wish you didn’t have to see,” Stevenson continued. “You do feel things you wish you didn’t have to feel. But the flip side of that is, you get to see beauty. You get to see love and you get to see hope, and you get to see triumph. You get to see what human beings can do, even if they don’t have all the things that they want, and that’s what really makes the work achievable.”

Taking the challenge

Before they met, Stevenson had been an admirer of Jordan’s acting on “The Wire” and “Friday Night Lights.” “It was such a strong and human story,” Stevenson said of “FNL,” “and I loved ‘Fruitvale Station.’” But it wasn’t until the two sat down to get to know one another, after Jordan finished filming the Oscar-nominated “Black Panther,” that a bond grew between them.

“It became clear to me this is a really kind, decent human being who really wants to do it right,” Stevenson said of Jordan. “And that gave me the confidence that we would work out all the details and the nuances. That’s what I’ve admired about him the most: He’s a genuinely kind human being. He’s got a beautiful heart. That’s what enables him to be such an outstanding actor but it’s also what defines him as a person.”

To prepare for the role, Jordan traveled to Alabama to spend time with Stevenson at the Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice, founded by the Equal Justice Initiative to preserve and educate the public on the history of enslavement, lynching and racial oppression in America. He found himself not asking questions so much as listening to Stevenson.

“You’re almost in awe of him when he speaks,” said Jordan. “It was more me just trying to soak up everything he was saying. Everything he says has so much weight to it and meaning. I was just trying to catalog it all.”

You do see things you wish you didn’t have to see. You do feel things you wish you didn’t have to feel. But the flip side of that is, you get to see beauty. You get to see love and you get to see hope, and you get to see triumph.

Bryan Stevenson

Stevenson was a resource for Jordan and Cretton as they re-created specifics from his cases and milestones from his early days, working out of a ramshackle office with collaborator Eva Ansley (Brie Larson), and portrayed the stories of McMillian (Foxx) and his fellow death row incarcerees Anthony Ray Hinton (O’Shea Jackson Jr.) and Herbert Richardson (Rob Morgan, in a standout supporting turn).

“Everything I needed to know was already there,” said Jordan. “It was identifying with our hearts being similar, and our spirits and our intentions and our morals aligned. It was cool to see a little bit of myself in him. And once that part connected for me, I felt a little more comfortable about taking on this challenge.”

What he found more difficult was suppressing his own emotional reactions to situations the real Stevenson had to endure for the sake of his clients. In one scene involving a child prisoner, sentenced as an adult, who has been abused by fellow prisoners behind bars, Jordan played the moment with the restraint the real Stevenson had to maintain but asked for alternate takes in which he could unburden his own feelings.

“I just wanted to do it. ‘I don’t care if you don’t use it, I’ve got to get it off of my chest. I’ve got to get it out of my heart, because my personal feelings are coming in.’ Keeping that in check was a new restraint,” said Jordan. Stevenson praised Jordan’s work in that moment, one in which he felt his own emotional journey was understood.

“There are times when you’re trying to figure out how much frustration you can manage because you just get overwhelmed,” Stevenson admitted. “But the idea that you’re there for someone else is something you try to always hold onto. And for me it’s the difference between being an effective advocate, and just being an advocate.”

“I — we — always have to do what they need you to do to deal with that, and it’s really hard,” said Stevenson. “Particularly if you care. But that’s also the heart of what we’re trying to show people in this film: that we need to think about other people. We need to think about other people a lot more than we do.”

“Just Mercy” opens a window into the impact the work had on the young Stevenson, but it also calls attention to the racism he was not immune to. Mirroring an earlier scene in which McMillian is pulled over, Stevenson is stopped by police. Like McMillian, he cautiously and instinctively places his hands on his steering wheel with the knowledge that any sudden or wrong move can result in his death.

It’s a parallel moment that happened accidentally as Foxx and Jordan separately brought their own experiences to the film.

“Anybody that looks like me that has been pulled over by the cops — we know what that feels like,” said Jordan of the unplanned synchronicity. “We know what that anxiety is, that nervousness. That wondering: Am I going to make it out of this? It’s knowledge that you have to know as a black man, as a person of color, going out into the world, that these are the rules that you have to abide by to get home safe. I think that’s the shared experience between Bryan and Walter in those moments; it’s like, we know the drill.”

In watching Jordan act out these intensely personal and painful memories, said Stevenson, he saw his own experiences honored. “He carried the pain of some of those moments — the humiliation of being strip-searched, the degradation of being stopped by the police, being insulted by prosecutors and police … he carried all of that in this way that just felt so familiar to me,” he said. “I remember living through those emotions.”

They hope the film brings moviegoers into proximity to the fight for justice and inspires action — local, national, political — after the credits roll. “For me, it’s a long list,” said Stevenson. “But people can jump in where they’re comfortable.

“Conviction integrity is the thing that we’re pushing all across the country. We want prosecutors to be able to open the door, when somebody says they’re innocent, examine it. Prove to us that they’re wrong. And if they’re right, then do something,” he said. “In both of these cases, Walter McMillian and Anthony Ray Hinton, we could have saved these men years of trauma and abuse.”

Source: Los Angeles Times

Press: Michael B. Jordan has finally moved out of his parents’ house

Press: Michael B. Jordan has finally moved out of his parents’ house

Emmy-nominated actor Michael B. Jordan, star of the “Creed” franchise, “Black Panther” and this week’s “Just Mercy,” finally has his own place. His previous digs? His parents’.

Jordan was a guest on “The Ellen Degeneres Show” Wednesday where he revealed the news.

“It happened!” he said of the move. “It’s good. It’s nice. I’m pretty sure they saged the entire house when I left. Like, they lit incense and bleached it down and got rid of all of me and then I got a place.”

This is no out-of-state college move, though: The 32-year-old actor said he’s just 20 minutes away from his folks in his new spot, adding, “You know … Sunday dinner. Mom and dad, they cook.”

Jordan has never made any secret of his close relationship with his parents — his mom Donna was his date to the 2019 Oscars and to the August premiere of OWN’s “David Makes Man” — or his admiration for his mother’s cooking.

“My mom’s mac and cheese is legendary,” he told Jimmy Fallon in November, explaining that he “missed my first Thanksgiving in I don’t know how long” in 2019 while filming in Berlin. But, thankfully, “somehow she found a way to sneak it, like through customs,” allowing him to get a taste of home while on the job.

Source: Page Six

Press/Videos: Michael B. Jordan on The Ellen DeGeneres Show

Michael was a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. You can check out some video clip highlights from his appearance below.

Charlize Theron made an unexpected visit to Ellen, but she ended up being the one surprised! Michael B. Jordan, who was the winner of a “Who Would Charlize Rather?” game the Oscar winner played the last time she was on the show, crashed her interview, much to Charlize’s surprise.

Michael B. Jordan reluctantly admitted to Ellen that his high school prom date was more than just a friend. The “Just Mercy” star also chatted about what it’s like being an uncle for the first time, and helping change a community activist’s life during “Ellen’s Greatest Night of Giveaways.”

Michael B. Jordan talked with Ellen about his new movie “Just Mercy,” and was later joined by Bryan Stevenson, the real-life activist attorney Michael portrays in the movie. Stevenson talked about the inequality of the criminal justice system in America, and how he felt about Michael B. Jordan being cast to play him on the big screen. Plus, Ellen and her friends at Green Dot Bank surprised Bryan with $50,000 for his organization, the Equal Justice Initiative.

Press/Video/Photos: Coach and Spike Lee Just Released a Dusty, Dreamy Short Film Starring Michael B. Jordan

Press/Video/Photos: Coach and Spike Lee Just Released a Dusty, Dreamy Short Film Starring Michael B. Jordan

Michael B. Jordan is keeping busy. Fresh off a trip to the Oscars, the actor is now starring in a new short film directed by none other than Spike Lee. The 90-second clip is called Words Matter, and it’s part of Jordan’s work with Coach as the brand’s global face for menswear.

In it, the Black Panther star hits the desert outside L.A. on a motorcycle (clad, of course, in Coach gear) and discovers a series of rocks with words like “evil” and “bigotry” written on them. He tossed them aside. Then he wanders a little further, towards a lonely swing set that’s appeared for some reason—just go with it, okay?—and replaces the rocks with new ones, this time emblazoned with words like “truth” and “love.” Nary a word is spoken aloud the entire time. It’s all about the vibe.

“Collaborating with the iconic Spike Lee on this short film for Coach was an inspirational experience,” Jordan said in a press release. “Spike’s art has moved the cultural dial for decades. I’m proud of the powerful messaging of this film and to be working alongside a brand that cares about putting that narrative into the world as much as I do.”

Lee also chimed in. “I’m honored to get to collaborate with giants in their respective fields, Michael B. Jordan and Coach,” he said. “It was truly a magical day working, shooting in the desert. Enjoy.”

Source: Esquire

Press/Video: ‘Black Panther’ Wins Best Cast in a Motion Picture at the 25th Annual SAG Awards

Press/Video: ‘Black Panther’ Wins Best Cast in a Motion Picture at the 25th Annual SAG Awards

A HUGE congratulations to Michael B. Jordan and the rest of the cast for their SAG Award for Best Cast in a Motion Picture!! I can’t even express how happy this makes me. Check out the announcement and acceptance speech below.

Press/Video: Michael B Jordan surprises high school students in his hometown

Press/Video: Michael B Jordan surprises high school students in his hometown

Michael B. Jordan surprised high school students in his hometown of Newark, New Jersey, to help mentor and inspire teens pursuing careers in the arts.

The “Black Panther” star returned to the classroom through a program sponsored by Coach, where he serves as the brand’s new face of menswear.

The Hollywood man of the moment said returning to school “inspired” him.

“To see these kids get up here and be fearless and just kind of, you know … just put themselves out there,” he said. “I got inspired again … I got the chills.”

The kids Jordan met with are in a program called the Future Project, which works to empower students by helping them develop the mindset and skills to achieve their dreams.

“Dreams are so important,” Jordan said. “The arts, manifest those emotions. They manifest … those dreams.”

“You cut the arts out,” he added, “you’re cutting kids’ ability … to dream.”

Jordan said when he sees the students’ faces, he sees “the future.”

“Hopefully I’m going to give ’em a job in the next five, 10 years,” he added.

Source: ABC News

Press: Sundance: Michael B. Jordan, Oprah Set for Blackhouse Foundation’s Schedule

Oscar-winner Tarell Alvin McCraney will debut a first look of his new series ‘David Makes Man’.

For this year’s Sundance, The Blackhouse Foundation has found a new partner in Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network.

OWN will be the event’s inaugural presenting sponsor, joining returning premier sponsors Facebook and BET Networks. Blackhouse, the non-profit that executes programming with the industry’s most influential Black creatives and provides support for up-and-coming talent, is entering it’s 12th year at the fest.

This year’s programming will include a first look at Oscar-winning Moonlight writer Tarell Alvin McCraney’s new OWN drama David Makes Man. The series, about a 14-year-old prodigy from the projects who is haunted by the death of his closest friend and relied on by his hardworking mother to find a way out of poverty, is inspired by events in McCraney’s own life.

McCraney will be on hand for a panel with exec producers Michael B. Jordan and Oprah Winfrey, showrunner Dee Harris-Lawrence, and cast Akili McDowell, Alana Arenas, and Phylicia Rashad.

OWN will also host a fireside chat with the network’s general manager Tina Perry and Harpo Films EVP Carla Gardini moderated by The Blackhouse Foundation co-founder Brickson Diamond.

“We are blown away by the growing presence of Black audiences, creatives and programmed films at Sundance. This year is on track to be another record showing. Our sponsor partners are bringing the best in education, access and opportunity for our constituents and we can’t wait to open our doors,” says Diamond.

Returning to the the festival programming will be BET Networks-Blackhouse Fellowship Program, which brings ten Black MFA students from across the country to the festival to help execute this year’s programming and network. Facebook will also return to with its Project SEEN, including an interactive workshop and the opportunity for filmmakers to partner with Facebook to create their own promotional content.

Blackhouse Foundation’s 2019 Sundance schedule will run from Jan. 25-28. Details can be found on Blackhouse’s website.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Press: Santa Barbara Film Fest: ‘Black Panther’ Standout Michael B. Jordan Tapped for Cinema Vanguard Award

Press: Santa Barbara Film Fest: ‘Black Panther’ Standout Michael B. Jordan Tapped for Cinema Vanguard Award

Congratulations Michael!

The 31-year-old will pick up his hardware at the fest on Feb. 7.

Michael B. Jordan, who won raves in 2018 for his work as a supporting actor in Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther and the lead actor in Steven Caple Jr.’s Creed 2 (and a Critics’ Choice nom for the former on Monday), will receive the Cinema Vanguard Award at the 2019 Santa Barbara International Film Festival, the fest announced this week.

The 31-year-old, whose prior credits include Coogler’s Fruitvale Station (2013) and Creed (2015) as well as the game-changing TV series The Wire (2002) and Friday Night Lights (2009-11), will be honored Feb. 7 at Santa Barbara’s historic Arlington Theatre as part of the festival’s 34th edition, which will run Jan. 30-Feb. 9.

SBIFF’s Cinema Vanguard Award recognizes actors who have forged their own path, taking artistic risks and making a significant and unique contribution to film. Previous recipients include Willem Dafoe, Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Rooney Mara, Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, Amy Adams, Jean Dujardin, Bernice Bejo, Nicole Kidman, Peter Sarsgaard, Christoph Waltz, Vera Farmiga, Kristin Scott Thomas, Stanley Tucci and Ryan Gosling.

Said SBIFF executive director Roger Durling in a statement: “It’s thrilling to honor Michael B. Jordan this year for the emboldened way he’s shown us what it means to be a movie star for the 21st century, mixing sensitivity with swagger, choosing important material that remains full of integrity yet becomes world phenomenon, and forging a cinematic partnership with visionary director Ryan Coogler.”

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Press: The Favourite, Black Panther Lead Critics’ Choice Awards Nominations

Press: The Favourite, Black Panther Lead Critics’ Choice Awards Nominations

Waking up to this news made me very happy. A huge congratulations to Michael B. Jordan and the rest of the Black Panther cast and crew for their amazing work on the film. Now lets bring it home for the win!

The period drama picked up 14 nods, while Black Panther followed up with 12.

The Favourite has run away with the Critics’ Choice Awards nominations. The darkly funny period drama, starring Olivia Colman as Queen Anne and Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone as warring cousins vying for royal attention, will lead the ceremony with a whopping 14 nominations, including nods for best picture, best actress (Colman), best supporting actress (Stone and Weisz), and best director (Yorgos Lanthimos).

The Favourite was followed closely by Marvel juggernaut Black Panther, which picked up 12 nods, including best picture, best acting ensemble, and best supporting actor (Michael B. Jordan). Damien Chazelle’s First Man, which seemed to lose some steam earlier in the awards race, came in third with 10 nods. Meanwhile, Mary Poppins Returns, A Star Is Born, and Vice followed with 9 nods apiece. While A Star Is Born has long been considered a front-runner this season, neither Vice nor Mary Poppins has yet hit theaters. Both, however, have slowly been gaining traction with critics and beyond, making a strong showing when Golden Globes nominations were announced; Vice ended up leading that field, with six nods total. And while the Globes are, well, the Globes, the Critics’ Choice nods offer a slightly more predictive glimpse at which films might might go all the way to the Oscars.

Speaking of films that might go all the way: Roma, which was named best picture on Sunday by both the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the New York Film Critics Online, landed eight Critics’ Choice nominations. Alfonso Cuarón’s critically adored period drama, inspired by his Mexican upbringing in the 1970s, was painted as a best-picture front-runner early on in this awards race, and critics have been eager to prove the predictions right. Green Book, another early contender, landed seven nominations.

In the TV realm, HBO and Netflix tied with 20 nods apiece, thanks to the success of shows like Sharp Objects and One Day at a Time, respectively. Amy Adams stood out with two nods; one for her supporting turn in Vice, and one for her lead turn in Sharp Objects.

FX followed closely behind HBO and Netflix, with shows like The Americans and The Assassination of Gianni Versace picking up five crucial nods each. Meanwhile, Showtime’s Escape at Dannemora made a strong debut with five nods of its own. The full list of nominations can be read here. The Critics’ Choice Awards will air January 13, 2019 on the CW.

Source: Vanity Fair

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