Michael B. Jordan: “Black or White, the fable of the underdog is universal”

DR

From Chronicle and Fruitvale Station, Michael B. Jordan is on the radar of the industry. Creed is his consecration: a thrilling resurrection of the Rocky franchise, where he crosses swords with Stallone.

Creed will be rebroadcast this Friday evening on France 2. Its release in early 2016, First had met one of its two main actors, Michael B.Jordanwhich has since been a hit in Black Pantherfrom the same director, and who is currently filming the third opus of the saga declined by Rocky, this time without Sylvester Stallone.

Where is Creed III?

January 12, 2016 interview: Michael, I understand that Ryan Coogler, the director of Creed, had been fed to the saga rocky from his earliest childhood. Is this your case too?

Sure ! But there are quite a few of us in this case, right? This saga has existed for forty years, it’s quite dizzying when you think about it. To put myself in condition before shooting, I reviewed all the films, one by one. It was awesome. Galvanizing. With Creed line of sight, it was as if I discovered them for the first time. And that I fell in love with the character again.

How shappened the first meeting with Stallone?
Oh man! Sly… He arranged to meet us at his office. We met to put the project on track. We talked about boxing, sport, acting… Then he gave me some tips to improve my punch. Besides that day, I took his fist in the stomach. And I can confirm that the animal still knows how to knock! (To laugh.)

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How did you and Ryan manage to bring him back down? We thought the franchise died of its beautiful death with episode 6…

The thing is, Creed is a personal project, supported by Ryan for a long time and inspired by his relationship with his father. It comes from the heart. It’s a movie, a real one, not exploitation cheesy of a recipe. Rocky Balboa is coming out of retirement and the big idea is to show him from a new perspective. There’s Rocky on one side, Adonis, Apollo’s son, on the other. And the two worlds collide.

Stallone is heartbreaking in the film. I admit, I blubbered a bit…
(To laugh.) There’s no shame, man! The film is killer from that point of view. I too shed a tear…

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When ? Personally, I crack up when Rocky mentions Adrian in the locker room: he says he would trade everything to spend a few extra moments with her…

For me, it’s when Rocky picks up Adonis from prison. What he says at that moment, pfff… It’s upsetting, because you know when you hear it that it’s not bogus. These emotions are real. I wasn’t leading off the day we shot it.

How do you, as an actor, exist in front of a legend like Stallone?

No idea ! How to answer? You play, that’s all. The only solution is to be in the truth of the moment, of the emotion. Don’t over-intellectualize. Just crossing your fingers, hoping it works on screen.

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Stallone looks happy to be there. Relax, relaxed. Like relieved to no longer be the sole guarantor of the saga. It also seems that there was a lot of improvisation… Am I wrong?

No it is true. This is Ryan’s method. When filming begins, all the actors know their character like the back of their hand. So you can improvise, let yourself go, invent situations, lines… The “truth” of the film is born in this way.

It’s been a busy year for you. We talk about the fiasco of 4 Fantastic ? What lesson do you learn from it?

Whatever you do, a lot of things are out of your control. No matter how hard you work, you have no certainty that the finished product will do justice to the trouble you have given yourself. It’s a shame, but that’s how it is. No one ever started a shoot thinking they were going to do something lame. No one dreams of mediocrity.

Does an alternative version of the film exist somewhere? Did Josh Trank show you his director’s cut ?

No, I haven’t seen anything. Will something eventually come out? Honestly, I don’t know.

david simon (the creator of The Wire) wrote this extraordinary sentence about you: “The only way to get America interested in the plight of young people of color is to kill off Michael B. Jordon on screen.” He was referring to Season 1 of TheWirebut also to Fruitvale Station

Yes. So what ?

And I wondered if it was not too heavy a responsibility to bear…

I wasn’t aware of it. I didn’t envision becoming an icon for anything – although, of course, a choice like Fruitvale Station is law to be innocent. The roles I choose ended up drawing this image of me. It seems the industry works that way. I didn’t know that I was going to have to take on this responsibility. But you know what? I am going very well. My filmography is necessarily a reflection of my personality.

In an interview given to QG American, we felt a form of weariness on your part faced with these questions. You said you wanted to blur the lines between white and black

Exactly. And a movie like Creed is here to do it. A guy who started from nothing and ends up reaching the top. This fable of theunderdog is universal.

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