After standout roles in The Wire and Friday Night Lights, MBJ has moved onto the big screen with lead roles in Fruitvale Station, Fantastic Four, and now as one of the most famous fictional boxers of our time, Apollo Creed. Getting roles like that don’t come without determination and a ton of hustle, which he credits to growing up on the East Coast, namely Newark, NJ.
“I’m still very much an East Coast city boy,” he says. “East Coast, growing up, going to Manhattan gives you a certain sense of just being able to make it. Hustle. Go-getter. Grind it out, you know.”
The interview starts out with a bang as the interviewer is let into the restaurant with ease, while Michael gets caught up with the greeter, which he presumes is because he’s Black. His response? To stick his gum under the table in hopes of making his martini taste a little better.
Michael also wants Black stories to be told more in Hollywood, and those are the types of roles he chases. The roles he’s not open to are ones that end in him dying, which is something he blatantly told his agents.
“It’s like, you know, stereotypes of black-guys-always-die-in-movies and all that shit. That didn’t help any. My friends gave me a lot of shit about that. It was one of those things: ‘Stop dying in those movies, man.’ It’s like the running joke with horror movies—if the black guy’s there, you know he’s the first one gone,” he said.
And when asked how women fit into his life right now, he answers:
“Um, I try and be focused. I told myself at a young age, once I kind of saw this momentum, that I would sacrifice all my twenties to my work. I’m 28. I’ve got a year and a half.”
He also speaks on his pivotal role in The Wire and more; check out the rest of Michael B. Jordan’s GQ cover story here.
SOURCE: GQ | PHOTO CREDIT: GQ