After the gargantuan success of Fruitvale Station, Michael B. Jordan hit the ground running, winning a 2014 NAACP Image Award then starring in the romantic comedy That Awkward Moment (opposite Zac Efron). Life for the young Black thespian has been everything but awkward. In fact, the New Jersey native has been on fire, much like the fictional Human Torch superhero he’s slated to play in next year’s new Fantastic Four film. EBONY recently caught up with Jordan about superheroes, his starring role in the Rocky universe boxing movie Creed, his Canon Photo exhibit and superheroes.
EBONY: How’s everything been in your world?
Michael B. Jordan: Everything is good. Working with Canon right now for their PIXMA PRO City Senses tour. Down here hosting this art gallery, cutting photos for them, so I have my own exhibit, which is pretty cool. I never had one of those before so I’m enjoying it.
EBONY: What inspired you to want to get involved with the photography side?
MJ: My mom was really big on photos growing up, so I always took a lot of time around dark rooms, taking pictures and seeing how they would come out. My mom always had a camera on her, so as soon as I was old enough to get my own camera and start taking photos, that’s kinda what I’ve been doing. Just on an amateur level, nothing too serious. So I’ve always had a love and a passion for photos.
EBONY: What stood out or really resonated with you concerning this exhibit?
MJ: It was a mixture of everything, honestly. Everything goes into a photo, it’s like time travel for me. It’s memories. So to be able to take photos of something and remember where you took it and what was going on in your mind that day, it’s kind of like a song, like music. That’s why music and time go hand in hand, because it’s like time travel. I really, really appreciate that.
EBONY: What’s your favorite photo?
MJ: Ever? You’re really good. That’s scary actually. There is a photo of Muhammad Ali when he’s underwater in a boxer stance. It’s probably one of the first images that popped up in my head when you asked me that question.
EBONY: Is there anything in particular about photography you try to do when you’re taking your own?
MJ: Not really. I think it’s more about what I’m doing. It could be anything. I could be driving down the street and see the sun peaking through the street. I’ll stop, go over there and try to grab a picture of it. See, I’m weird because I’m usually rushing somewhere or I’m late. I remember what time of the day it is and try to get back to that main spot to see if I can get a similar shot.
EBONY: What are you working on right now?
MJ: I’m devoted on my projects right now. A couple films, a few comic books I’m working on, a few animated features I’m trying to develop. And I’m just getting in shape and training for my next film, Creed. I’m playing Apollo Creed’s grandson, a boxer.
EBONY: How’s it preparing for that role?
MJ: Just eating a lot. I’m actually eating right now. [laughter] I eat about seven times a day every two to three hours. I work out a lot, I lift twice a day. It’s all about bulking up right now, then I’ll probably lean up right before I start filming.
EBONY: What would be your dream role?
MJ: I like complicated characters with layers, like a controlled madness to them. Kinda how Heath Ledger did with the Joker in [The Dark Knight]. It’s one of those performances that people remember because it was so crazy. Whenever he was on stage, you kinda can’t take your eyes off of him. It’s one of those performances where the character gets pretty complicated, but gets really insane as well. I like menacing characters like that.
EBONY: If you had the choice of being another superhero or a villain, who would that be and why?
MJ: Superman. Yeah, the Man of Steel. That was a shot in the dark. [laughter] Honestly, the Human Torch was about it for me. One of my favorites growing up. It was like a life long dream come true.
Grant Yanney is a Chicago native grooving in Brooklyn: journalist, host, media personality and snack lover. Follow him on Twitter @GY312.