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After being in the showbiz for over twenty years, it’s safe to say Michael B. Jordan gives careful thought to the character role he lands. Jordan, who is signed to MWE Management, has taken part in Marvel’s Black Panther, Fantastic Four, Fahrenheit 451, Creed, The Wire, the list goes on.
In 2013, the Erik Killmonger villain portrayed Oscar Grant in “Fruitvale Station.” The film unveiled the trials and tribulations an African-American faces when victimized by police brutality. In an interview with Issa Rae for Variety’s TV show Actors on Actors, Jordan stated that he shared his new mindset with his agents after wrapping up the film directed by Ryan Coogler. He said:
“After I first did Fruitvale Station, I told my agents over at WME, I don’t want to go for any role that’s written for African Americans in the breakdown. I said, I don’t want it. I want to only go for, like, [roles written for] white males. That’s it. Me playing that role is going to make it what it is. I don’t want any pre-bias on the character.”
The Newark raised actor cites landing the lead in Chronicle, a film created with the intention that it would be portrayed by a white actor, as one of his greatest achievements in 2012. The film is centered on a black teen that discovers he has telekinetic superpowers.
Moving forward, Jordan wants to continuously break down Hollywood’s barriers on black actors and partake in any role that he feels will have a positive impact on his viewers. He is focused on roles that are timely and speak to the now. He references his most recent film, Fahrenheit 451, on the importance of what it means to be controlled, whether it’s on television or social media. The film, which debuted on HBO, was based on Ray Bradbury’s book which was published over sixty years ago. The Creed II actor took a stab at producing the film with his own production company, Outlier Society.
The full conversation with Issa Rae streams in two parts on Tuesday, June 19, and Thursday, June 21, on KOCE-TV and on pbssocal.org.