Michael B. Jordan is eating french fries during our interview. We’re on the phone, but I can hear the crunch and instinctively ask if he’s enjoying the remainder of his lunch during our quick chat. To my surprise, he reveals he is snacking on the delightful and unhealthy food. “Michael B. Jordan eats french fries?” I joke. “Cut it out,” he replies. So yes, despite having the body of Michael B. Jordan, Michael B. Jordan enjoys guilty pleasures like fried food.
Jordan stars as the revenge-driven operative John Kelly in the action-packed Tom Clancy flick, Without Remorse, hitting Prime Video on April 30. To get into character, Jordan began crafting the image for Kelly in his head, then trained his body for the physical and leaned-in to longtime friend and co-star Lauren London, who helped him channel the emotional aspect of the role.
“When it comes to physique, I’m usually in and out of roles, I want to look different for each one. I don’t want to have the same physique for each role I play — to help me focus in and lock in on the character. Bryan Stevenson doesn’t look like Adonis Creed and Adonis doesn’t look like Erik Killmonger. When I do these roles I like to change what I’m doing.”
In Without Remorse, Kelly and his pregnant wife (Lauren London) are on the verge of their fairy tale family until a secret military mission changes their lives forever. Jordan, longtime friend of London, reached out to the beloved actress and mother, via text, though he wasn’t sure if she interested in acting again.
“She’s been away for a while and she’s one of the strongest women I know and been through so much. So, I had a crazy idea one night and was like, ‘Would you want to come do this?’ And then sent her the script and she thought she could bring something to the table. And she had something to offer and felt like it would be good for her. As artists, I think we express ourselves and, it’s therapeutic sometimes to get on set and to be able to do the things that we do. So in this particular situation, she helped me out so much when it comes to, talking about grief. And we talked about the mind state of where Kelly would be at on certain things and just seeing a strong black woman in that way and be able to support me the way she did, I thought was extremely incredible.”
“So basically, you put a Black woman on?!” I say and he chuckles a bit. “I mean, that’s why you do what I do in the sense of getting to a position to create opportunities for other talented people who may not have a shot at that. And, she’s dope, So it wasn’t like, it wasn’t like a, it wasn’t like a favor or anything like that. Like she held like she’s dope and she held her own and she’s like, you know what I mean? So it made sense.”
London wasn’t the only leading lady in Without Remorse. Jodie Smith-Turner played bad a** commander Karen Greer, who often saves her co-star Kelly’s life on multiple occasions.
“I thought it was incredible. I think it was much needed to see that representation. Black women are the foundation and are the support system of us in general. So to be able to have that in a movie – to see it, I think was pretty cool. Being able to do those action scenes and to see him operate between both spaces in the field, carrying a gun, and also dressed in her blues and in the boardroom with generals and their commanding officers, I thought it was incredibly strong to see.”
When he isn’t bulking up or slimming down to play in a role, he’s chilling in clothes that allow him to relax.
“I’m constantly turning myself into someone else. I go to work and I put on somebodies clothes, I’m in somebody else’s physique. When I get a chance to relax and be on my own schedule and in my own space, I like to be comfortable — I’m a sweats, t-shirt, jeans, hoodie guy at his core.” But don’t get it twisted, after debuting a few lewks on the ‘gram while promoting Without Mercy and a deal with Coach, he admits to dibbling and dabbling into his fashion sense.
As for social media, MBJ has no problems setting and forgetting his phone. “I try to not pay attention. There’s some things that sneak through, I’m human. For the most part I don’t pay attention to that a lot of stuff.”
Stream Without Remorse on Amazon April 30.