The star of Creed, Michael B. Jordan, recently sat down with the Hollywood Reporter for their Awards Chatter podcast to discuss the huge franchise film, what this awards season is looking like, director Ryan Coogler, and co-star Sylvester Stallone. Jordan is only 28-years-old, and has managed to become one of Hollywood’s brightest young stars within the last few years, having starred in the first season of HBO’s critically acclaimed series, The Wire, in 2002. Michael earned some critical praise for his performance in Coogler’s Fruitvale Station and, prior to that, starred in Josh Trank’s highly-loved debut, Chronicle, but how is Michael B. Jordan handling the huge success of his latest film, Creed?
“I still haven’t fully processed it all,” says Jordan. “It’s a really, really warm, good feeling.”
Creed has certainly afforded Michael B. Jordan the highest success of his career. The actor, who was considered one of the “25 Best Actors in Their 20s” by Complex magazine in 2013, says that his role models are some of the biggest actors in the world, including Will Smith, Denzel Washington, and Leonardo DiCaprio. Michael tried his hand at a romantic comedy with That Awkward Moment, with Zac Efron and future Fantastic Four co-star Miles Teller, in 2014, which was not all that well received. Jordan also wanted “a gritty independent to show people what I can do,” which happened to be Ryan Coogler’s debut 2013 film, Fruitvale Station. The actor was quite impressed with the material that writer/director Coogler was able to put together — “I read it and I was like, ‘This is it. It’s perfect,’ ” he says.
Fruitvale Station tells the true story of Oscar Grant III, a young black man living in Oakland who was shot and killed by an overly-aggressive white police officer.
“That was very personal. I mean, yeah, it could have been me, it could have been any one of my friends growing up, it could have been my little brother, it could have been anybody. That’s the fear and that’s the reality for myself and people within my community who look like me all over. It was tough, and especially getting to know his family as well.”
The Creed actor says that playing the role of Wallace in The Wire was “the first time I lost myself in a character and really fell in love with that euphoric feeling of just not being yourself, not thinking like you would normally think.” He also notes the television show for giving him a wide fan base.
Creed, both in its filming process and its release, was a much more positive experience than his previous theatrical effort, Fantastic Four. The superhero film ended up being on the biggest box office bombs of 2015, as well as one of the worst reviewed films, and Jordan doesn’t shy away from any of its shortcomings. For Michael, it was his first “total failure.” However, being able to act in scenes against Rocky himself in Creed, directly after filming the failed superhero film, was an incredible experience.
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“Getting to know him and really working on the script and developing the characters before we started filming” was fantastic for the actor, playing the son of Apollo Creed, Adonis. Michael and Sly’s relationship off-camera was just as strong as it was on-camera. Jordan also expresses admiration for his co-star, Tessa Thompson, who plays the character of Bianca in the film, the love interest of Adonis.
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Creed being followed up with a sequel seems to be something that everyone involved in the project wants to see happen, according to Coming Soon. It seems as if Coogler will be directing Marvel’s Black Panther, and if his schedule does not work out, it’s unsure whether or not he could handle both franchises simultaneously, assuming he would return for Black Panther sequels. Coogler has said that he wants to do two more Creed followups.
[Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for DIFF]