Michael B. Jordan would only audition for roles written for white male actors after starring in Fruitvale Station.
Michael was cast in Ryan Coogler’s 2013 gritty biographical drama, about the events leading up to the death of Oscar Grant.
The film received widespread critical acclaim, and with its success, Michael decided to be choosy about his roles going forward so he wouldn’t be typecast.
“When I first started thinking about it, right around the time of Fruitvale Station went down, I told my agents at WME, I was like I don’t want to go out for any role that’s written for African-Americans in the (script) breakdown,” he told Issa Rae for Variety‘s latest Actors on Actors interview.
“I said, I don’t want it. I want to only go for, like, (roles written for) white males. That’s it. Me playing that role is going to make it what it is. I don’t want any pre-bias on the character.”
The pair also touched on the success of Black Panther, with Insecure star Issa revealing it has changed the way she looks at potential roles.
While she wasn’t in the smash hit flick, which boasted a predominantly black cast and has become the highest-grossing superhero film, she has been inspired by its success.
“I would see breakdowns all the time, and agents, managers, bless them, but even in sending roles, early on to me was like ‘hmmm I could never play the lead in this. I just automatically know I’m not what they’re looking for’,” she shared. “If it were a leading woman of a certain type, I just knew the type that they would go for, so I’m just not going to even bother.
“So now something has shifted so I’m like, ‘f**k that, yeah I’m going to go after that’. And I’ve seen people have been receptive,” she continued. “Even just the confidence that a movie like (Black Panther) and other films by other filmmakers of colour that have come out have really just changed what people perceive as a leading lady, as the beautiful person, the daring or the bold action-adventure type. That just feels so dope to me.”