“Black Panther,” “Fahrenheit 451” and “Creed II” actor Michael B. Jordan covers the April 2018 issue of Men’s Health magazine photographed by Art Streiber.
On his name: “I’m competitive. I want to compete in anything I do. That came from my name. Growing up in sports and having a name like Michael Jordan and being teased, I had to compete. I couldn’t be the guy with the name and not be good at it. That carried over to everything. I’m like, I’ve got to be just as great if not greater than he was in his field.”
On if he’s met the original MJ: “I never met Michael Jordan. I never want to officially meet him until I’m at a point where he knows who I am and I know who he is. And it would be our mutual respect thing. Until then it would just be a ‘this guy has your name, ha ha.’ I don’t want that. So that pushes me to keep working too. These things motivate me.”
On focusing on the long game in both his career and life: “Life is short, you know? I want to leave something behind. A blueprint. A work ethic. Something that my great-grandkids and their kids and their kids can see: This is where it started. Lineage. Intergenerational wealth. Things that are here forever. All that.”
On his hesitation in accepting the role for “Fahrenheit 451”: “I was cautious. I wasn’t exactly sure if I wanted to play an authority figure due to the relationship between my community and the police. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to play that character. But once I got into the book, heard what [director] Ramin [Bahrani] envisioned, and understood what he wanted to say, then it was like, ‘I got it. I want to be a part of it.’”
On the abundance of voices rising on a multitude of issues: “Technology has a lot to do with it. It’s easier for people to unite, stand behind one another. No matter what your field is, whether it’s gender equality, the Time’s Up movement, or diversity casting, it’s always going to be a back-and-forth battle. But this time it does feel different. Sometimes you need to have the same conversation over and over until it sticks. Maybe this is the time it starts to stick.”
[Photo Credit: Art Streiber/Men’s Health Magazine]