MBJ recently attended the Comic-Con Experience in Brazil. Photos from the event have been added to the gallery.
Tag: creed II
He’s the star of Creed II and hot property in Hollywood, but the uber-talented Michael B Jordan is taking it all in his stride. Here, he talks fighting, fame and films with Gemma Dunn
WHEN Sylvester Stallone revealed his plans to retire Rocky Balboa as Creed II opened recently, fans of the franchise were left saddened. The veteran actor, who has played the world’s most celebrated fictional boxer since 1976, dropped the bombshell via Instagram, where he told his eight million followers: “It’s been my ultimate privilege to have been able to create and play this meaningful character.”
“Though it breaks my heart, sadly all things must pass… and end,” added the 72-year-old, alongside a video of the speech he gave to his Creed II co-stars.
Suggesting his appearance in the blockbuster reboot will be his last, Stallone has insisted his lead, Michael B Jordan, will now “carry the mantle”. And it seems the 31-year-old star is suitably flattered.
“It’s an honour, honestly,” says Jordan, who put in a knockout performance as boxer Adonis Creed in the original Rocky spin-off and returns to the title role in Creed II, now showing in cinemas across Ireland.
“I know what that character and that franchise means to him – and for him to see that same potential inside of me, I think it’s a big deal.
“I didn’t expect him to say that and he did, so it caught me off guard. But it feels special; it’s something I take seriously. He knows that I’m gonna do him justice.”
If the Californian’s previous efforts are anything to go by, there’s no doubt he will. Hot on the heels of Creed’s success in 2016, Creed II, this time directed by Steven Caple Jr, sees Jordan take on the next chapter of the Adonis Creed story, which follows the young boxer’s life inside and outside of the ring as he deals with newfound fame, family, his father’s legacy, and his continuing quest to become a champion.
But to defend his acquired world title, Creed must fight a worthy opponent. Hence the introduction of Viktor Drago: a young, undefeated heavyweight contender, played by real-life sports enthusiast Florian ‘Big Nasty’ Munteanu.
He’s the son of Ivan Drago (played by Dolph Lundgren), the Russian boxer who killed Adonis’s father Apollo in the ring three decades earlier. Deciding he has a score to settle, Adonis prepares, with the help of trainer, Rocky, for a showdown.
“I think Adonis has felt like an underdog ever since he became champion,” says Jordan of his character. “I don’t think he ever felt like a champ. He never felt like he was the sure-win, which is an interesting thing to play. “He’s always felt like he has something to prove.
“And out of nowhere, this blast from the past arrives which forces Adonis to go down a dark road, to really reflect on and figure out why he fights,” adds Jordan, who earlier this year received critical acclaim for his portrayal of villain Erik Killmonger in Marvel’s Black Panther.
“This film shows that sometimes you have to go through darkness and the fire to realise what’s important.”
But to get back in the ring, full stop, was going to take some serious training, especially if Jordan was to square up opposite newbie Munteanu – a 6’4″ Romanian-born, German-raised boxer by trade.
“For the first [film], there’s no way I could imagine what I was going to be doing – the second time around, it was worse,” he confesses, with a laugh.
“I have to believe when I was stepping into the ring, I am a fighter. I would work out to exhaustion day in and day out, sometimes twice a day, going home with swollen knuckles and all.”
Jordan adds: “A boxer has a certain look and has to make a certain weight. To get in shape for this one, we definitely amped up the cardio along with the boxing, which itself is an amazing workout, two times a day, every day for six weeks.”
But fitness aside, the high-action fight scenes still resulted in a number of hospital visits – on both sides. Not that it left Jordan deterred.
“It’s a badge of honour, honestly,” he says, smiling. “We’re making an action film and if you’re not getting hurt, then you ain’t trying hard enough. So I feel like it just means that we were putting it all on the line for the perfect shot. For the perfect scene.”
Has he had any pinch-yourself moments, given the success the Creed role has earned him?
“I think the first time I finished the fight scenes, in the first movie, was a pinch-myself moment of like, ‘Oh, we did that’. Especially working with director Ryan [Coogler],” he says.
“That was our second film we’ve done together [the pair previously collaborated on Fruitvale Station and have since joined forces for Black Panther] and I felt like, ‘We did it again’. It was such an accomplishment.”
The fact he served as an executive producer on Creed II also left him feeling “more conscious” of his involvement, he says.
“I’ve always been producing or always trying to add to the story or character of the film in some type of way. I’m a team player, so I just want, as a whole, for the movie to do well.
“For me, you’ve got to do it one movie at a time, one scene at a time, and just try to do your best. Give it your all, every day. And at the end of it, if you’ve got something great, then people are going to let you know.”
As for the fame, Jordan, who is in high demand in Hollywood, is taking it in his stride.
“I’m the same guy, I’m not changing,” he says. “It’s an adjustment when you have your privacy taken away but that’s what comes with it.
“I love my fans, I love the love that I get for what I do, so I just try to reciprocate it as much as possible. You’ve got to throw your energy back out into the universe and it will send it back to you.”
Source: The Irish News
Michael B. Jordan and Tessa Thompson completed a mad lib of the official Creed II synopsis. We turned that mad lib into a movie trailer.
Michael B Jordan is a one-man machine. Following up from his star turn as Rocky’s protégé in Creed, the series is back with a knock-out sequel. There are more intense AF boxing scenes that could double up as action sequences and luckily, so many flashes of Michael’s body, we advise you take a fan to the cinema with you.
Here, he joins GLAMOUR’s Joshington Hosts to discuss why after the events of 2018, we need to see this fragile representation of masculinity, sexist questioning and whether he can grate cheese on his abs. Yes, really.
Creed II shows the fragility of masculinity behind the power of the muscles. Why do you think we needed this representation of masculinity, especially in 2018?
It’s super important to show layers and show you can be physical, masculine and at the same time be vulnerable and emotional as well. Adonis is very vulnerable and emotional person. He’s selfish for some of this film but with understanding and by becoming a father alongside the other obstacles that are thrown his way, he’s allowed to grow.
Speaking with your co-star Tessa Thompson, we discussed how everyone will ask her what it’s like to play a ‘well-rounded’ girlfriend role, but no one will ask you, as a man, what it’s like to play a ‘well-rounded’ boyfriend. So, what is it like?
Damn, Tessa is heckling me even when she isn’t here! She’s impressive! It feels good – it feels great!
The Creed franchise deals with failure and success – what has this film taught you personally about failure?
You have got to try, and you have to take risks. I never really feel phased as you are always learning something and learning what you can take away from what you are doing. I feel Adonis has had his fair share of failure in this movie, which makes for a greater come back.
What’s the most extreme excuse you have used to skip the gym?
Oh, man! Maybe some stomach problems or something, I have kind of gone there. My trainer, Corey Calliet, is that kind of guy who will just come into my room and snatch me out of bed and be like, ‘what are you doing? Get out of bed!’ He can call me out!
Your body is so rock hard – can you crack an egg on it or grate cheese with your abs?
Ha! I am not sure. I haven’t thought about it like that but good question!
Rocky serves up cracking pep talk, but what is the ultimate Michael B Jordan pep talk?
If you believe in the things you want to achieve, you can do it. You have got to focus, work hard, dedicate to the cause and you will be successful. Do you feel motivated?
What would a Michael B Jordan Barry’s Boot Camp-inspired workout class be like?
It would be stages. In order to go to the next level, you would have to complete another because you can’t just throw someone into the deep end. You want to give them small successes to build up to the larger success story. We would be lifting weights, some cardio, maybe some swimming – mixing things up and keeping them fresh!
Creed makes the ultimate entrances – what are you tips for making the ultimate entrance?
Everyone needs their own theme music! That’s one way to get things started as everyone will hear you before they see you. So, when you walk in, the table is already set, and they’re in the mood. You have got to believe yourself.
What happened after Chrissy Teigen revealed you have hooked up via your Instagram direct messages? Is ‘you are a knockout’ too cheesy for an intro?
Yes! And My Instagram broke after that!
Your confidence should be bottled and sold in fragrance format! What would you call it and how would you pitch it?
I would call it ‘Ooze’! Ooze yeah! I don’t know what the packaging would be but just Ooze!
Watch out, Glo by JLO! Michael B Jordan is coming for your fragrance and Creed II is in cinemas now.
Source: Glamour UK
Stars! They’re just like us. While I don’t possess the same rippling abdominal muscles as Michael B. Jordan, he and I do share a passion for anime. It’s no small secret that Jordan is a lowkey otaku. Over the years, he has publicly geeked out about fan-favorite shows like Bleach, Naruto, and Dragon Ball Z. Buy his fandom goes even deeper than you might expect. It’s something that I discovered firsthand when I traveled to Philadelphia to interview the actor about Creed II, in which he reprises his role as boxing phenom and Rocky Balboa disciple Adonis Creed.
Fun fact: there is a massive subset of anime that focuses entirely on sports and a surprising amount of it is specifically about boxing. Knowing that Jordan is an anime fan, I couldn’t help but ask him to tell us all about his favorite boxing anime, and he did not disappoint with his selection: Hajime no Ippo.
Created as a manga by George Morikawa in 1989, Hajime no Ippo (or “The First Step”) is the story of Ippo Makunouchi, a shy high school student who was constantly bullied by his peers. One day, after taking the beating of a lifetime, Ippo was saved by a professional boxer who just so happened to be passing by. After dusting off young Ippo, the boxer took him to his training gym where they quickly discovered that Ippo had a real knack for boxing. What follows is a thrilling, fist-pumping story about a young man coming into his own as he embarks on a career in professional boxing.
In the year 2000, Hajime no Ippo was adapted into a 76 episode anime series and there have been several sequel series and original animated video follow-ups too. The series is notable for its epic fight scenes, extensive and seemingly interminable inner monologues that happen mid-fight, and Ippo’s signature move, the Dempsey Roll. As someone who spent a summer in high school bingeing the ever-loving heck out of this series, I can assure you that it straight-up rules. But don’t take my word for it. Listen to Michael B. Jordan in the video above and let him tell you exactly why you need this boxing anime in your corner.
There’s something serendipitous about Michael B Jordan ending 2018 with another smash hit. After an Oscar-buzzed role in Marvel’s Black Panther, he’s now headlining Creed II, a sequel that’s over-performing at the box office – and at the same time, the industry is expanding to give more chances to other black actors than ever before.
Alongside John Boyega, Daniel Kaluuya, Stephan James and Jovan Adepo, Jordan is one of an increasing group of stars who are finally being given major roles in blockbuster projects. But is this modern “black renaissance” the cause of his rise to leading man status, or was Jordan destined for greatness regardless?
The 31-year-old has been in the business for about 20 years, since first appearing in commercials as a child. This year alone provides proof that he’s graduated to a leading man, after impressing in The Wire and in 2013’s fact-based indie Fruitvale Station.
He stumbled in 2015’s poorly received Fantastic Four reboot, but then Jordan found hitherto unseen success as the supervillain Killmonger in Black Panther earlier this year. Reuniting him with his Fruitvale Station and Creed director Ryan Coogler, Jordan delivered an intensely complex, fascinatingly relatable bad guy, praised by fans and critics alike. Abandoned by his wealthy Wakandan family, Killmonger grew up fatherless, alone and impoverished with a surging rage for his predicament.
Jordan’s performance embodied black pain in a way that felt horribly relevant in Donald Trump’s increasingly divided America. But despite praise, Jordan’s immersion in the role took its toll. He poured so much of himself into the villain that the end of production was reportedly followed by a stint in therapy. “Once I got finished wrapping the movie, it took me some time to talk through how I was feeling and why I was feeling so sad and, like, a little bit depressed,” he shared on The Bill Simmons Podcast. Sessions with a therapist helped him move on just in time to prepare for his next project.
But the critical and commercial success of $1.3bn mega-hit Black Panther didn’t bleed into his second film of the year, HBO’s adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. Jordan starred as a dystopian fireman, trained to set fire to “contraband media”, but while the plot might have felt prescient, and despite a formidable co-star in the shape of Michael Shannon, the film premiered at Cannes to lukewarm reviews. Jordan was too busy to notice, however, since he was in the middle of another grueling production.
In 2015, he’d scored a win with his induction into the Rocky franchise; Coogler’s rousing reboot Creed, a franchise he returned to this year. Creed II is already a major hit, outperforming expectations with $62m in its first week and scoring strong reviews. The saga chronicles a boxing underdog with a champion name – Adonis Creed – who is fighting his way to recognition, independent of a legacy that seemed to die with his father. In the sequel, Adonis must face the son of the man who murdered him. The journey he takes resembles Jordan’s own struggle to legitimate leading man status in a traditionally restrictive industry for actors of color. It’s no wonder that the actor plays the boxer so well. There’s also that name …
“Being named Michael Jordan – I think growing up playing sports and having a name like Michael Jordan, and I was extremely competitive, I used to get teased a lot,” he said to NPR’s Audie Cornish last month. “But it made me want to strive for greatness and be able to compete at whatever I decided to do.”
Toughness on screen has also been offset by an undeniably grounded charm off it: Jordan has achieved virality on more than one occasion this year. In March, Jordan offered to pay for a replacement retainer for a fan who broke hers from excitement over seeing him shirtless in Black Panther. Two months later, he was riding high on Twitter again after it was revealed he’d met a fan who contacted him via Instagram. Just this week, he’s been at it again – cannily meeting a fan who had previously gone viral by Photoshopping the pair together.
There’s also something else that drives Jordan: the need to prove himself outside of restrictions tied to his race. In an interview for Variety’s Actors on Actors series, Jordan revealed to Insecure’s Issa Rae that he seeks out roles written for white actors. Roles written for black characters, he reasoned, were filled with the writer’s preconceived notions of what his character was supposed to be.
“I’m first and foremost a black man, for sure, but what I’m trying to do, and what I’m trying to represent and build, is universal,” he said in a Vanity Fair profile in October. “We live in the times where everything is based around race, and for me, it’s like, I get it, I understand. It just makes everything so loaded.”
In March, Jordan made waves by announcing that his production company Outlier Society would adopt an inclusion rider for every future project they take on. He was the first to respond to Frances McDormand’s Oscar acceptance speech which saw her talk about the rider that would demand equality in front of and behind the camera. It was groundbreaking news by itself but later in September, Warner Bros announced it would partner with Jordan to ensure this became a company-wide policy.
“Inclusivity has always been a no-brainer for me, especially as a black man in this business,” Jordan said. “[But] it wasn’t until Frances McDormand spoke the two words that set the industry on fire – inclusion rider – that I realized we could standardize this practice.”
The first film to hold true to the policy will be Just Mercy, a film that sees Jordan star as civil rights defense attorney Bryan Stevenson. It’s a project that will help to further extend Jordan’s appeal beyond the multiplex and into the awards conversation. Yet there’s a chance he might be heading to the main stage next year with experts predicting a best supporting actor nomination for his performance in Black Panther, a film that might well be the first superhero adventure to ever score a best picture nod.
Jordan has honed his skills and set his goals while plotting to challenge an oppressive system that has weighed people of color down. He’s working hard to claim his own seat at the table, and is taking care to prevent barriers to his progress and that of black actors coming up behind him. With a banner year, he’s not only become Hollywood’s most exciting new leading man, but he’s helping to define what we should expect of other leading men in the future.
Source: The Guardian
Michael B Jordan is continuing the Rocky legacy, reprising his role as Adonis in Creed II, but he says he felt the need to up his game. Michael is in the best shape of his life, going up against his new nemesis he wanted to make sure the fight looked realistic with both men on a similar physical playing field. Broadcast on 30/11/2018
“This isn’t some British thing?!” Creed 2’s Michael B Jordan and Tessa Thompson try to fill in the blanks and guess what the British public said about celebrities with Nick Grimshaw on Radio 1. Listen to Nick Grimshaw on BBC Radio 1 Mon-Thurs, 4-7pm or by downloading the BBC Sounds app.
MBJ has been making the rounds for his Creed II press tour, which will go on til mid January. I’ve created a playlist with all of the press junket interviews. Be sure to bookmark this post to stay updated on the latest interviews. I will also be posting updates on our Twitter. You can check out the videos below.
I’ve created a playlist with all of MBJ’s ‘Creed II’ red carpet interviews. Be sure to bookmark this post to stay updated on the latest interviews. I will also be posting updates on our Twitter. You can check out the videos below.