“Everybody’s trying to push you and navigate you toward saying or taking a job that you may not feel 100 percent comfortable with.” – Michael B. Jordan
Actor Michael B. Jordan has had quite a year. He starred as the villain in one of the highest-grossing movies of all time, Black Panther, appeared in the HBO adaptation of Fahrenheit 451, and also stars in Creed II, which will come out later this year. He participated in The Hollywood Reporter actor roundtable.
Jordan says that it’s important for actors to follow their gut — even if their agents have other ideas. He says, “You can’t do everything. And obviously you have agents who have their own agenda, everybody’s trying to push you and navigate you toward saying or taking a job that you may not feel 100 percent comfortable with. Everything on paper may look good, but you have to go with your instincts. When I was younger, I started off still living at home and I didn’t have any real responsibilities, I didn’t have a mortgage to worry about or bills to pay, so you’re taking what’s in front of you. But once you get older and a little more successful, the choices you make really define the way the industry looks at you and how you move forward with your career. Those are the times that you’ve got to be a little bit more selective with the kind of projects that you do.”
Jordan recently starred in an adaptation of Fahrenheit 451, which he admits he wasn’t initially interested in. Regarding what changed his mind, he explains:
“I wasn’t interested in playing an authoritative figure with what was going on in the world with police and in my community. And being a black man, I didn’t want to play somebody who was an oppressor. I just didn’t want that in my head. And the character just didn’t sit right because I played Oscar Grant [a police shooting victim in Fruitvale Station] and I was playing characters that meant so much to my community at that time. But sitting down with the director, Ramin [Bahrani], and knowing Michael Shannon was going to be a part of it, and understanding the vision and the themes and messages that he wanted to send through the movie [convinced me]. And at that time, I hadn’t read the book. I read it and then I talked to my agents, my mom, dad, friends, people who are around me and know me. That’s how I make decisions.”