Michael B. Jordan made a decision to choose roles where he wouldn’t die onscreen to spare his mother’s feelings.
The Black Panther star admitted in an interview with Denzel Washington for The New York Times that his mother Donna would get so upset about such parts that he actively changed direction with his movie career, only picking roles where he survived.
Michael had his epiphany after his mother became “super emotional” when she was on set for his death scene in HBO show The Wire.
“When I shot my death scene in The Wire, she was on set. And the (production assistants) kept coming to me and saying: ‘You may want to check on your mom,'” the 31-year-old actor told the news outlet. “I go see her, and she’s sitting there bawling. I’m just a kid. I’m going, ‘Come on, Ma. You’re embarrassing me.’ And after Fruitvale Station I was like, ‘Man, this is really affecting her.'”
After that he took on roles in films such as Fantastic Four, Creed and That Awkward Moment where he didn’t die, not solely to make his mum happy, but also because he wants to inspire people through his work.
“I want people to see me win,” he insisted. “I want audiences to see me ending up on top — not dying.”
The handsome actor admitted that he looks to stars such as Denzel, Will Smith, and Leonardo DiCaprio as he also wants to be considered a leading man in Hollywood. And with roles in Creed II, the sequel to the hit Rocky reboot, and the TV adaptation of Ray Bradbury classic Fahrenheit 451 alongside Michael Shannon, it shouldn’t be a hard sell. But he credited his success to both luck and being choosy about the roles he takes on.
“Those are the roles I was lucky enough to get. Ryan (Coogler) and I have worked together three times, and I have a really close relationship with him,” he explained. “But I said no to lots of other things with other people in-between. They weren’t right. Personally, I think you’re defined by what you say no to.”