Michael B. Jordan (“Creed II”, “Black Panther”, “Friday Night Lights”) stops by to answer your questions about his career, workouts, and favorite anime – all with the help of some very furry friends. To learn more about these pups and others that are up for adoption, head to PacificPupsRescue.com
Michael B. Jordan talks to BBC Radio 1Xtra’s Yasmin Evans about his roles in Creed II, Black Panther and Just Mercy, his brutal training regime and black representation in film. Plus Michael gets some heartfelt housewarming gifts from Yasmin.
(NEW YORK) — With the release of his latest film Creed II, Michael B. Jordan fans are getting to see the actor in a totally different light. In the sports action drama, Jordan plays a boxing champion and a new father who must learn how to adapt to a child with a disability.
Although it’s only through the film that Jordan is experiencing fatherhood for the first time, the actor does admit that he definitely wants children of his own one day.
“Of course, you’re in there, you’re with this this infant, this little baby and stuff like that,” Jordan tells ABC Radio. “And I love kids, you know.”
Yet, with no real experience to help him prepare for his fatherly role, Jordan says he was still able to dig deep to find his paternal instincts.
“[I] definitely get into that mind state of being a young father, young dad,” he says. “All of, what would the insecurities be? What would the worries [be]? Like what would Adonis be going through in that moment? So, I definitely felt that.”
Creed II, also starring Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson and Phylicia Rashad, in now in theaters.
Source: ABC News Radio
Returning to the ring as boxer Adonis Johnson in Creed II, Michael B. Jordan Opens a New Window. ’s goal was to get as shredded and lean as possible. “I worked out maybe three or four times a day. I ate four to five times a day,” the star tells Us of his brown rice, chicken and broccoli diet. “I just really wanted to be defined. I wanted to evolve on the look that we gave on Creed I, and really raise the bar this time around.”
HBO and The Ringer’s Bill Simmons calls up his buddy Joe House to talk struggling NBA teams, NBA rookies, the Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson pay-per-view event, and NFL picks. Then Bill sits down with actor Michael B. Jordan to talk ‘Black Panther,’ his new film ‘Creed II,’ upcoming projects, and more.
This piece contains mild spoilers for “Creed II.”
In the third act of “Creed II,” the heavyweight champ Adonis Creed squares off in a rematch against Viktor Drago, the Ukraine-based boxer and son of the man who killed Adonis’s father in the ring three decades earlier. Bloodied and weary after several rounds — but ever the tenacious fighter — Adonis gathers the will to keep going with the encouragement of his coach and mentor, Rocky Balboa.
“I’m dangerous!” Adonis sputters through his swollen mouth, echoing the pronouncement he had given Rocky in an earlier scene, under vastly different circumstances.
It is the movie’s “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose,” the inspirational battle cry of the protagonist as he faces the challenge of his life. As said by the actor Michael B. Jordan, who delivers the line not with a guttural oomph but the eager-to-please fervor of a young kid hoping to impress his father, it doesn’t quite carry the intimidation the line seems to demand. Nevertheless, it is both endearing and invigorating — you just know Adonis is ready to conquer Viktor this time around.
It’s this moment that may help explain why, in the same year Jordan has received some of the most glowing reviews of his career for playing Killmonger in “Black Panther,” a debate has percolated on Reddit, Twitter and in everyday conversations among pop culture enthusiasts: Is Michael B. Jordan a good actor?
Where some see a fascinating interpretation of a supervillain, others see bad acting. Critics of Jordan say that he lacks the swagger and menace of the Killmonger character and that he appears to be reading off cue cards. (One of the movie’s most-discussed lines, “Just bury me in the ocean, with my ancestors that jumped from the ships — they knew death was better than bondage,” is usually held up as the prime example.) To some extent, I can understand these sentiments; like Adonis declaring himself “dangerous,” the idea of what Killmonger represents — a problematic, burn-it-all-down philosophy in the name of black empowerment — sometimes overpowers Jordan’s interpretation onscreen.
Still, the arguments made against his acting abilities more generally are perplexing: He doesn’t disappear into his roles (as Jamie Foxx did in “Ray”); he always plays the same character. Such critiques miss the point: Jordan has made it clear he desires to be a capital “M” Movie Star, along the lines of Will Smith (who himself has always been transparent about his box-office aspirations), not a character actor. “I want people to see me win,” he told The New York Times in a conversation alongside Denzel Washington earlier this year, adding, “I want to be the leading man.”
And there always have been actors who are considered great who aren’t chameleons like Christian Bale or Meryl Streep — you never forget you’re watching Denzel Washington, Leonardo DiCaprio or Cary Grant, but you are drawn in nonetheless.
Jordan’s strengths as an actor lie not in his ability to shock or scare or surprise — but in his willingness to be vulnerable and charismatic. These qualities have been evident as far back as his early breakthrough role as Wallace, a bright, baby-faced drug dealer in “The Wire.” Over the course of Season 1, Wallace looks after some of the younger abandoned children in the housing projects and experiences pangs of extreme guilt when his actions inadvertently lead to a murder. Jordan lent the character openness and sensitivity: He embodies the good-hearted kid who isn’t cut out for the ruthlessness of the drug trade, making his death at the hands of his childhood friends — and his pleas to them in those final moments — that much more heartbreaking.
In “Fruitvale Station” more than a decade later, his first major star turn and first collaboration with the director Ryan Coogler, Jordan portrayed Oscar Grant III, a young man who was killed by a police officer in Oakland, Calif., without painting him as a saint.
In one scene, we see Oscar interact with three people over the course of just a couple of minutes, and his demeanor shifts seamlessly between each exchange. He pleads with the manager of the grocery store where he once worked to rehire him, but quickly turns angry and combative when rebuffed, revealing Oscar’s desperation under dire financial straits. Left alone in the aisle, the camera lingers briefly on Oscar, contemplating the severity of his situation, before the voice of a woman he assisted earlier breaks through to thank him for his help; here he effortlessly turns on the charm. Finally, he greets his friend working the deli counter with a warm, genial familiarity, and lies about having convinced the manager to give him his job back.
As he finally exits the store and turns away from his friend, his smile fades, and a sense of helplessness washes over his face. These are subtle exchanges, but engrossing nonetheless — a brilliant, succinct depiction of everyday code switching, and it works mainly because Jordan carries it off so well.
“Creed II” takes the idiosyncrasies Jordan has honed in his onscreen persona throughout the course of his career and fully reveals the kind of actor he is capable of becoming. If not as surprisingly profound as its immediate predecessor, “Creed,” the latest “Rocky” installment portrays Adonis as an underdog despite being a heavyweight champ, a celebrated fighter who still has much to prove. He’s handsome and lovable, but not necessarily smooth, as seen in a lighthearted moment where Adonis nervously asks Bianca to marry him. He feels unsatisfied by his success.
In “Creed II,” Jordan shows how he can translate an array of emotions with just a look. When Adonis and Bianca await the results of a test for their newborn daughter, Jordan displays anxiety, fear and an overwhelming sense of sadness at the recognition of what may be ahead for his family.
Giving such a performance in a crowd-pleasing sequel positions Jordan in the realm of other actors he has name-checked as having the careers he wishes to emulate: Washington, Smith, Tom Cruise and Leonardo DiCaprio. You can see a bit of each of those actors in Jordan’s career moves so far — the transition from troubled youth roles into hunky A-lister (DiCaprio in “The Basketball Diaries,” and later “Titanic” and “The Departed”); the prestigious boxing part requiring tremendous physical transformation (Washington in “The Hurricane” and Smith in “Ali”); ventures into the realm of sci-fi/fantasy (Cruise in “War of the Worlds,” “Minority Report”).
It’s rare these days for actors to open movies on the strength of their names and charming personas alone, but in developing a respected partnership with Coogler — like Washington and Spike Lee, and DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese — and starting his own production company to create the roles he wants, Jordan has molded himself into a performer who takes on prestigious projects that also play up his good looks.
Whether this leads down the path of Oscar nods — still Hollywood’s ultimate marker of having made it, however superficially — remains to be seen. But when he taps into his sensitivity, turns on the charm and lays his feelings bare in any given moment, he’s electrifying.
Source: NY Times
Michael B. Jordan and Tessa Thompson have effortless chemistry as Adonis and Bianca in the Creed franchise, and recently displayed that chemistry for EW’s cover shoot celebrating the release of Creed II.
But the pair have more in common than Creed. They also both play characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe — Jordan starred as Killmonger in Black Panther, and Thomspon took on the role of Valkyrie for Thor: Ragnarok. And one of the many perks of being part of the MCU is that you get your own action figures. When asked if they’ve played with their own figurines, they both responded affirmatively.
“I have mine in my kitchen above the sink so I see her when I wash dishes,” Thompson said, and hers isn’t the only one she’s collected. “Other women friends of mine, if they have one, I have a girl gang. There’s Lupita [Nyong’o, as Nakia from Black Panther]. There’s Evan Rachel Wood from Westworld.” One action figure was notably absent from Thompson’s collection, though. “I don’t have Killmonger, I’m so sorry,” Thompson confessed to Jordan. Jordan said he doesn’t have Valkyrie either. “I’ll give it to you,” Thompson told him. “I have an extra one.”
Source: Entertainment Weekly
MGM, New Line and Warner Bros.’ Creed II came out swinging over the Thanksgiving weekend. The Steven Caple Jr.-directed sequel to Ryan Coogler’s Creed, which was also a de-facto sequel to Rocky IV, earned a whopping $35.293 million over the Fri-Sun portion of its $55.806m Wed-Sun opening weekend. That’s the biggest debut ever for a live-action release over Thanksgiving, sans inflation of course. And it’s the biggest unadjusted Fri-Sun and Wed-Sun debut ever for a non-Disney release on this specific family-friendly holiday. Oh, and it scored the biggest unadjusted debut for a sports drama and a boxing drama, which of course means it had the biggest debut ever for a Rocky movie. There are nitpicks to be had, but this is a 99.9% total triumph.
Creed II had a comparatively low 4.8x five-day multiplier over the holiday weekend, compared to a 7x multiplier ($42 million from a $6m opening day) for Creed three years ago. Creed earned just 3.5% of its total gross via Tuesday previews ($1.5m), but Creed II earned 6.6% of its weekend total via its previews ($3.7m). To be fair, the sequel was… a sequel. There were plenty of folks who caught up with the first Creed well after opening weekend and then showed up with bells on for the second installment. The “Creed 2 + Rocky 8 + Rocky IV part 2” gimmick enticed folks who might have ignored the movie or merely caught up with it at their leisure as opposed to racing out on opening night.
It isn’t absurd that a film which opens with an opening day 93% larger than its predecessor might be a little front-loaded over the weekend, even with good reviews and an A from Cinemascore. The film still ended up with a five-day opening weekend 31% larger than its predecessor, even if the Fri-Sun weekend ($35m versus $29m) was only 21% larger. Since we’re dealing with a movie that cost around $40 million and thus isn’t counting on an overseas rescue, all of this is mere trivia unless it collapses after the holiday. That’s frankly unlikely since it’s a pretty good sequel despite (or because of?) the silly fan bait premise, and it’ll remain unlike anything else in the marketplace for the rest of the year.
So now the big question is whether it can be leggy enough to pass the unadjusted $127 million domestic total of Rocky IV ($323m adjusted for inflation) to become the biggest Rocky movie ever in raw domestic earnings. If it is merely as leggy as Creed (2.6 x $42m = $110m) or Four Christmases, then it gets to a dynamite $146m domestic cume. But it’s a sequel (to a sequel), to frontloading along the lines of Unbreakable and Spy Games (2x) is not entirely out of the question. That would still give it a $112m gross, which counts as a win in an era when most sequels make less domestically than their predecessors. Yes, those are the two likely extremes concerning reasonable precedents.
A run like The Muppets (rave reviews, an unkillable IP, hardcore nostalgia, a movie technically appropriate for kids that plays to adults, etc.) gets it to $120 million, which frankly smells like the right comparison at the moment. Even if it doesn’t end up with that much more domestically (or worldwide) than the $110m domestic/$173m worldwide-grossing Creed, it’s still proof that the IP is still a big deal. The two-for-one franchise of a Rocky IV sequel and a character-driven, mid-budget, studio-backed drama starring folks who look like Michael B. Jordan and Tessa Thompson (which itself is sadly unique unto itself in the marketplace) was a winning combo. Creed II may not have topped the weekend, but it is an undisputed box office champion.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE
Since Creed II essentially burned through the plots of Rocky II, Rocky III and Rocky IV in one shot, the franchise can go wherever it wants from here, but that’s for another day. And this “bigger-than-Creed” launch is also good news for Universal/Comcast Corp.’s Glass, but that too can wait for another time.
“Creed II,” which opened in theaters Wednesday, finds Michael B. Jordan’s character, Adonis Creed — like the actor, himself — adjusting to his newfound prominence: reaching the pinnacle of his profession while still having to fight for what he believes in. Associated Press/Warner Bros. Pictures
NEW YORK — If Michael B. Jordan’s path to this moment was condensed and edited, it might look, appropriately, like a training montage.
Images of Jordan cutting his teeth on the Baltimore streets of “The Wire” and the Texas football fields of “Friday Night Lights,” followed by hints of a soaring talent (“Red Tails,” “Chronicle”), shattering breakthroughs (“Fruitvale Station”) and setbacks (“Fantastic Four”) before reaching, with a pair of haymakers (“Creed,” “Black Panther”), heavyweight status.
Parallel to Jordan’s steady rise has been the 31-year-old’s expanding sway behind the scenes in Hollywood. His production company, Outlier Society Productions, was among the first to embrace the inclusion rider, adopting the pledge to seek diverse casts and crews just days after Frances McDormand referenced it at the Oscars. Jordan was also influential on a similar agreement by WarnerMedia, making Warner Bros. the sole major studio thus far to sign up.
“He’s always been a big-idea guy,” says Ryan Coogler, who directed Jordan in “Fruitvale Station,” “Creed” and “Black Panther.” “He’s always been conscious of his own responsibility.”
“Creed II,” which opened in theaters Wednesday, finds Jordan’s character, Adonis Creed — like the actor, himself — adjusting to his newfound prominence: reaching the pinnacle of his profession while still having to fight for what he believes in. As Steven Caple Jr.’s boxing drama prepared to open in theaters, Jordan went door-to-door in Georgia urging people to vote in the midterm elections.
“You’ve been doing one thing for 20 years. Constantly working at it, trying to grow and become successful, or whatever your version of success is. And then you have a moment in time where everything seems to be coming together at the same time. Everything seems to be happening. But you live in a society, in a world that’s kind of going to (expletive),” Jordan said in a recent interview. “So to be able to use one to help the other, is something. To try to find your voice.”
It’s an answer with shades of Jordan’s typical performance: earnest, thoughtful, tinged with pain. Then he exhales.
“I don’t know, man,” says Jordan. “Honestly, there’s a lot going on right now and I’m trying to find my place in all of it, professionally and personally.”
A big part of Jordan’s quest was “Black Panther,” in which he played Erik Killmonger. The part is ostensibly a villain, but in Jordan’s hands, Killmonger — a wounded, fatherless warrior bent on reparations through violence — has a depth uncommon if not outright alien to comic-book films. Between Killmonger and the Wakanda leader T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) is a larger dialogue, one fraught with history, between African identity and the African diaspora.
“Making a movie, you rarely come out the other side the same. You either grow or regress. I came out a different man,” says Coogler. “The conversation that was had between T’Challa and Killmonger, what it means to be African — I didn’t know I needed that movie as much as I did until after I made it. I look back and I say: ‘Man, I really needed that. I needed that conversation.'”
The performance has made Jordan one of this year’s leading supporting actor contenders for the Academy Awards. Coogler praises his friend’s vulnerability in a complicated role.
“He was one of the few African-American characters and he was carrying the weight of that cultural representation,” says Coogler. “Mike brings a lot of the empathy with him, as a person and as a performer. That’s one of the things that makes him special. Almost as soon as you see him, you empathize with him.”
“Black Panther,” the year’s biggest domestic blockbuster and most resonant cultural event, left a mark on Jordan.
“Playing Killmonger, carrying that oppression, that feeling of being a representation of the African diaspora, I felt a certain pressure and responsibility to get it right. That was a very maturing process for me,” Jordan says. “To be very unapologetic, I had to play that role.”
A sequel to the acclaimed 2015 spinoff (it grossed $173.6 million worldwide on a $35 million budget), “Creed II” was fast-tracked by MGM in part to capitalize on the success of “Black Panther” and Jordan’s growing profile. Caple, whose feature debut was the 2016 indie film “The Land,” had his first meeting with producers around Thanksgiving last year. By the first week of January, he was in Philadelphia getting ready to shoot.
Caple preserved and expanded upon Coogler’s naturalistic approach, and the film’s best scenes unlock raw intimacies outside the ring. Especially notable is the chemistry between Jordan and Tessa Thompson, who plays Adonis’ girlfriend (“Mike feeds off of Tessa a lot,” says Caple), and the surprising pathos of the father-son relationship between Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) and Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu). In an echo of “Rocky IV,” the younger Drago is Adonis’ foe this time.
Caple credits Jordan for the film’s emotional authenticity.
“He’s genuine. Then you meet him in person and you realize he’s the same way in real life. You can’t act that or fake that. He used that as a vehicle to get where he is today,” says Caple. “Right now, he’s expanding on that with his business, with his production company, with his brand, and still being for the people in many ways.”
Jordan recently finished shooting “Just Mercy,” in which he stars as civil rights defense attorney Bryan Stevenson. The Warner Bros. production was the first Jordan made with the inclusion policy in place.
“The set, the crew was very diverse, all very capable. It was a great experience. Hopefully other studios and other productions will follow our lead and demand the same thing from their sets,” says Jordan. “Change takes time. It’s a small step, but it’s the first step. I’m not expecting Rome to be built in a day.”
Source: Chicago Daily Herald
Only ET was with the actor and his sister, Jamila, as they surprised fans in Newark, New Jersey. ‘Creed II’ is out Nov. 21.