Michael B. Jordan is one of the most sought-after actors in Hollywood. He has appeared in Marvel films, played Apollo Creed's son, and appeared in socially sensitive movies. But when producers come to him with more historical figure roles, Michael explains, he is not interested and he has a pretty good reason for refusing.
As a teenager, Michael B. Jordan took his first steps in the world of show business. He made a mark in the first season of the HBO series The Wire and continued the upward trajectory finally getting national fame for his role in Ryan Coogler's Fruitvale Station.
Fruitvale Station was a commercial and critical success and told the story of Oscar Grant who was shot while handcuffed at the said station. Michael was lauded for his performance and it also resulted in the actor getting similar offers to play Historical Black figures of America, something the actor was not keen on.
Michael B. Jordan on Rejecting Historical Black Characters in Movie Adaptations
The career trajectory of Michael B. Jordan, who has refused to play more historical characters in movies and TV shows.
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Hollywood has a tendency to typecast actors into particular roles. The simple theory of work is, why to fix something that isn't broken. Ever since Liam Neeson appeared in the first Taken movies, almost all of his films have been some form of lone fighting badass.
That limits the actor's possibility to get better roles and while Bruce Willis may be okay with getting just work, Michael B. Jordan is not. He can kickass in Creed and then go give a beautifully heartfelt performance in Just Mercy. It is amazing to have options but that is not the only reason Michael turned down roles like Just Mercy.
The Black Panther villain was talking to Men's Health where he was asked about the historical black heroes and his own experience playing them. Michael expressed he was offered various similar roles over the years but he wants other actors to get the chance to tell those stories and not horde them all himself.
Michael said, "I’ve passed on a lot because I can’t play every Black historical figure. There’s other amazing, talented actors out there that should have opportunities for those." While Oscar Grant and Bryan Stevenson are recognizable black historical names, Michael's filmography has a limited number of such roles.
In order to not get typecast or play characters, he does not have a connection to, Michael has also recently established his own production company. Michael wants Outlier Society to be a nurturing force for young and struggling actors who would not get the same shot most actors do.
"One of the reasons why [I started] the production company was I wanted to be able to open up the doors for other people that haven’t had those shots that maybe couldn’t see the pathway or the move to make in order to carve out their piece," the actor explained.
Watch: The trailer for Tom Clancy's Without remorse starring Michael B. Jordan
Outlier Society was involved in the making of Raising Dion which introduced a young hero. The show currently getting ready for a second season. The production company also recently inked a deal with Amazon and Michael is starring in Tom Clancy's Without Remorse, releasing this April, for Prime Video.
Michael B. Jordan is one of the best actors of the current generation. Would he justify playing a young Martin Luther King Jr.? Without a doubt. But working in only those types of movies is going to fix the actor in one lane and we would not have gotten Killmonger.
Diversification of filmography is what makes an actor legendary and Michael B. Jordan, by his own choice, is carving a nice piece of history for himself. You can catch the actor in Tom Clancy's Without Remorse this April, and in the second season of Raising Dion. The actor is also gearing for his directorial debut with Creed 3, releasing in 2022.
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