Following his lead role in Fruitvale Station, actor Michael B. Jordan stopped auditioning for roles that were meant specifically for black actors. During Variety's Actors on Actors interview, Jordan told fellow actor Issa Rae, "I wanted only white men. That's it. That's all I want to do. Me playing that role is going to make it what it is...Sometimes writers write what they know, what they think encounters with us would be, and that's slight bias."
Jordan used the 2012 sci-fi thriller “Chronicle” as an example: he auditioned for the role of the white teenager, Steve Krasinsky, and performed so well that director Josh Trank changed the name, and the character, to Steve Montgomery and cast him.
“It didn’t have to be like, ‘You’re playing the black guy in this.’ And everybody would be going out for the same role. Every young black actor from ages 17 to 40 going out for the same role. How do you reverse engineer that problem of pitted competition with each other and give more opportunities to eat and be successful?”
The strategy, which Jordan said received no pushback from his agents, has served him well so far: besides “Black Panther,” he’s recently starred in “Fahrenheit 451” and “Creed,” and is set to reprise his role in the sequel later this year.
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