Nowadays, it only takes one big role to really launch an actor into superstardom. This weekend, “Night School” hit theaters, which co-starred Tiffany Haddish. Haddish is famous for becoming an overnight sensation last year thanks to her role in “Girls Trip.” Now, for 2018, the actor that captured the hearts and minds of millions of people is none other than Michael B. Jordan, thanks to his role in “Black Panther.” And as is clearly evident in his recent Vanity Fair profile, Jordan is hoping to take his newfound superstar status and not just conquer acting but all aspects of Hollywood.
With his sights set on becoming the biggest name in Hollywood, the first thing Jordan wants people to do is not to think of him as a popular Black actor. He wants to be a universally beloved actor, period.
“I’m first and foremost a black man, for sure, but what I’m trying to do, and what I’m trying to represent and build, is universal,” he says. “We live in the times where everything is based around race. And for me, it’s like, I get it, I understand. It just makes everything so loaded. When the way to do it is to Trojan-horse it, so then people look up, and say, ‘Oh wow, what happened? I didn’t even realize that.’”
Jordan is on his way to becoming that superstar thanks to the aforementioned “Black Panther,” which featured the actor taking on the role of Erik Killmonger, and subsequently, stealing the entire movie out from under Chadwick Boseman’s feet. However, that wasn’t expected, and at the time of his contract negotiations, Jordan reveals that Marvel got him at a discount. But now, his price has gone up. Dramatically.
“Moving forward it’s a totally different story,” he says. “This is the defining moment in a lot of different areas for me that’s gonna set up my next 5 to 10. That’s why I’m so locked in right now, because if it was ever a time to get distracted or, like, drop the ball, this is not it.”
Part of the actor’s plan to conquer Hollywood is to step out from just being an actor and tackle some more behind-the-scenes tasks. He’s already started a production company, with projects set up for Netflix and other studios. Jordan also has plans that are more in the realm of marketing, which his company will help with on the upcoming “Creed II.” And for his inspiration for all this, the actor doesn’t look at any role models in Hollywood. No, he looks to the NBA, specifically with LeBron James.
“Whenever I see [James], it’s love, always trying to represent our generation, represent our culture, like, ‘Why not us?’” says Jordan. “Things don’t have to be the way they’ve always been done. I just happen to do more than just act.”
“I want to create projects for Brad Pitt, but at the same time I want to be able to create a movie for Will Smith, or Denzel [Washington], or Lupita [Nyong’o], or Tessa [Thompson],” continues Jordan. “It’s gonna be eclectic. It’s gonna be animation. It’s gonna be non-scripted. It’s gonna be digital. It’s gonna be film, television. It’s gonna be video games.”
Even with all these projects and companies, Jordan’s still paying the bills with acting. And he hopes with “Black Panther” earlier this year, followed by “Creed II” later this fall, Jordan will become a household name and one of the biggest in Hollywood. He had that in mind when he planned “Creed II,” which he reveals was shot over the course of a month, and is currently still being edited. Jordan doesn’t want to conquer the US alone, he wants to be the biggest star in the world.
“Nicolas Cage made so much money overseas,” says Jordan. “If you don’t perform domestically, and you can still make money internationally, you will always be around. That’s why ‘Creed,’ ‘Creed II,’ is so important nowadays, this time around, because it is more international.”
We hope you enjoy Michael B. Jordan projects because if he has anything to say about it, you’re going to see a lot more of them.
“Creed II” hits theaters on November 21.