- Michael B. Jordan has become a household name thanks to his roles on the big screen.
- The “Black Panther” star didn’t grow up with dreams of being an actor.
- His first TV role was actually on “The Sopranos,” despite many fans thinking it was on “The Wire.”
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Michael B. Jordan was named People’s Sexiest Man Alive for 2020, but the actor’s success began all the way back when he was a preteen playing Wallace on “The Wire.”
Here are 10 interesting things you might not know about Michael B. Jordan:
His first role was on “The Sopranos,” not “The Wire.”
Most people think Jordan’s acting debut was on HBO’s “The Wire.”
Although his role as young, street-smart Wallace launched his career, his first professional credit was a one-off guest appearance on a season-one episode of HBO’s “The Sopranos” when he was 12 years old.
He also appeared on an episode of CBS’ “Cosby” and in the films “Black and White” (1999) and “Hardball” (2001) before beginning his arc on “The Wire” in 2002.
He didn’t let his mum watch the filming of his character’s final scene on “The Wire.”
During a 2018 interview with Vulture, Jordan opened up about filming Wallace’s tragic final scene on “The Wire,” in which the character is shot and killed.
“I kind of knew it was coming,” he told the publication. “Especially when you get that knock on your trailer door from David Simon. I’ll never forget it. He said ‘I love you. The audience loves you. We’ve got to kill you. We’ve got to kill you off.'”
“I remember telling my mum not to show up on set that day,” he continued. “My mum gets extremely emotional, and this was kind of too much. I didn’t want her to see it.”
The “B” in his name stands for Bakari.
Jordan wasn’t named after the famed basketball player, but rather his father, Michael A. Jordan.
The “B” in his name stands for Bakari, according to PopSugar, which means “promising” in Swahili.
He didn’t initially dream of becoming an actor.
In 2015, Jordan told NJ.com that his mother set his career in motion when she decided to take him to his first commercial audition.
“It wasn’t something that I always wanted to do. But like a lot of kids, you know, I didn’t know what I wanted to be. And modelling, acting, it got me out of school early, got me a chance to go into the city, so I was all into that,” he told the publication.
He launched a production company that’s aiming to make Hollywood more inclusive.
Jordan’s production company, Outlier Society, is trying to make a change in Hollywood.
In 2018, he vowed to incorporate the “inclusion rider” – a clause that allows actors to contractually demand 50% cast and crew diversity on set – on all his projects.
At the end of that same year, the actor told Vanity Fair, “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, or Lupita, or Tessa. 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.”
He has been in all of director Ryan Coogler’s films.
Jordan has starred in all three of director Ryan Coogler’s feature-length movies.
The actor played Oscar Grant in the heartbreaking biopic “Fruitvale Station,” the titular character in the “Rocky” sequel “Creed,” and the charismatic villain in “Black Panther.”
“Mike is an incredibly talented experienced actor,” Coogler told MTV News in 2018. “He brings an insane work ethic and a consistency that’s really great to have on a set.”
He’s a big anime fan.
Jordan often tweets about anime, and his favourites seem to be “Naruto” and “Bleach.”
During a 2014 press interview with PopSugar, when asked what his guilty pleasure was, the actor initially wrote “anime” before crossing it out and going with “women.”
He was a voice actor for a major video game.
Jordan voiced Jace Stratton in the 2011 entry of the critically acclaimed shooter franchise “Gears of War 3.”
He bought his parents a house.
During an appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” in January, the host spoke with him about making the big move – about 20 minutes away.
“It happened,” he said. “I’m pretty sure they saged the entire house when I left. Like, they lit incense and bleached it down and got rid of all of me, yes.”
Even though he no longer lives with his parents, the actor said he’s still “close enough” to visit for Sunday dinners.
Jordan took tap-dancing lessons at the beginning of his career.
In a 2013 interview with HuffPost, Jordan said he’d do anything to get out of school early as a kid, so when his parents got him into acting around the age of 11, he took on a bunch of hobbies, including tap dancing.
“Honestly I was just doing it get out of school early and get free food,” he told the publication. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do at that age – I was doing everything, playing basketball, acting, tap dancing … “
He added, “Do not quote me. She made me take tap dancing!”