Creed star Michael B Jordan plays Erik Killmonger in Marvel’s Black Panther. He reveals the backstory chats and the bathroom breaks it took to bring the character to life.
You’re a comic-book fan and you’ve worked with director Ryan Coogler twice before. When he got this gig, did you think, ‘Yes, I’m gonna be in the MCU!’
We talk about everything, so we talked about this as he got it. He called me up and asked me if I wanted to play a villain and said it’d be a good look for me. He told me a little of what he was thinking in terms of character and story, and it sounded amazing, as stories from his creative mind usually do. And we started to get to work on it. With Ryan and I, it’s not a typical ‘getting a job’ process. It’s more like, will this be a good creative collaboration and something we should be doing.
Ryan is known for having story sessions with all of his actors, so they can give input. What was at the heart of your conversation about Killmonger?
I want to keep a lot of that close to my chest but backstory is so important. You need to know where your character comes from and where he’s going. But that’s something Ryan and I try to approach on all our characters. With this one, Killmonger’s upbringing really had an effect on why he’s so passionate about liberating his people.
You’re in great shape for this movie. Did that take a lot of prep or were you still toned from Creed?
At the start, to try and add 20 pounds of muscle to my frame, I had to drink at least a gallon of water a day. Do you know how often you have to use the bathroom when you’re drinking a gallon a day? I also had to work out two to three times a day and eat up to six meals, which can hamper your social life. It’s hard to go out to a club when you’re thinking about meal prep and whether they’ll have a microwave.