‘Black Panther’ star Michael B. Jordan evokes his ’10-year-old self’ to explain how film resonates with today’s youth
Michael B. Jordan plays a supervillain in Marvel’s latest superhero film “Black Panther,” but the highlight for him is being part of a larger “movement” and the opportunity to influence people for generations to come.
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“Representation is extremely important and, especially in film and television, so I just keep thinking, as my 10-year-old self, how would this movie impact me,” he told “Good Morning America” today, adding how he grew up as a big fan of the Marvel comic.
“What type of difference would it have made in my life growing up as far as what the possibilities were, the capabilities of myself,” he said. “So just what it means to these kids and this future generation, I think, is going to be extremely important.”
The film, which opens officially Friday, has already reverberated far and wide.
“Everybody’s kind of rallying behind this thing [‘Black Panther’], and really trying to support the community that may or may not have a chance to see this film, so it’s a movement right now. It’s a moment and I’m enjoying it,” he said.
Director Ryan Coogler asked Jordan to do the film with no audition and no hesitation on Jordan’s part, the 31-year-old actor said.
“When [Ryan] told me his vision for the movie and for the character and kind of what he wanted to do, along with the cast … dealing with Marvel was a no-brainer, it was no hesitation.”
But Jordan admitted that he didn’t quite know how to approach his first-ever role as a villain, Erik Killmonger, so he needed time to himself to get in the right frame of mind.
“I know Erik was sad, he had a lot of passion, had a lot of rage, he was lonely,” said Jordan, whose acting credits include “Fruitvale Station,” “Fantastic Four” and “The Wire.”
“So for me, I spent a lot of time by myself, [listening to] a lot of music, a lot of speeches, a lot of historical figures in the past, revolutionaries. I kind of tried to embody their essence,” Jordan added.
“I wanted that feeling around me when I was kind of portraying this character and besides the physical training also, just working out and kind of getting back in shape was a thing.”
Jordan, who trained heavily to get in shape for “Black Panther,” said his workouts were even tougher for his role as a champion boxer in “Creed,” but he wanted different results this time.
“Living like a fighter, and shout-outs to all the professional boxers and amateurs that sacrifice so much trying to make weight and just that whole process is very strenuous. [But] Erik, I wanted to be physically bigger and wanted to look kind of massive on screen,” he said.
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