Michael B. Jordan is a pretty busy guy these days. The Friday Night Lights and The Wire star is currently on set rehearsing for his huge role as Johnny Storm in Marvel’s July 2015 release of Fantastic Four.
Aside from the highly anticipated movie, Jordan is also heavily involved in the 2014 Sprite Films student filmmaker mentor and program ambassador program. Sprite has cast a nationwide spotlight on six student filmmakers who showcase bold creativity and a thirst to leave one’s mark on the world of film. “I think it’s an incredible program,” Jordan told The Source by phone. “For me to kind of be able to give back and help mold the next batch of filmmakers—I think it is very important.”
TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO CHECK OUT AND VOTE FOR THE FAN FAVORITE AWARD! Make sure to visit www.sprite.com/films to check out the 6 students’ short films.
Jordan recently met with undergrad and graduate aspiring filmmakers and shared his experience in the film industry and provided advice to help guide the students in their film making journeys. He can recap the advice he gave the students about breaking out in Hollywood and also share what his mentors – Oprah, Forest Whitaker, Matthew McConaughey, among others –have told him over the years. “It holds a special place in my heart because my career was made on the backs of first time film directors,” said Jordan.
Jordan recently caught up with The Source and dropped some knowledge on the program, acting, Marvel Comics and the NBA Playoffs.
Here’s THE SCOOP:
The Source: Tell us more about the Sprite films program.
Michael B. Jordan: What they did is they held a nationwide competition. You had to be a student filmmaker and make 50 second scripts and develop them into short films. It started March 24th and ended May 15th. Everyone should go online to sprite.com/films and check it out to vote.They can win a $5,000 donation toward their university’s film department and they get to go to AFTI Fest 2014—which is like a really really big deal. It’s a huge film festival. It’s good to nurture and replenish our well of filmmakers and continue for them to make good movies. I heard about it and really wanted to get involved. I don’t like speaking on things that I don’t care about and that I’m not personally invested in. But this is definitely want to work on.
The Source: Who mentored you in a way that you’re doing with Sprite?
Michael B. Jordan: I’ve been blessed to have a lot of people to be able to mentor me. Ben Affleck and McConaughey. Matthew has had an incredible career in front of the camera and behind the camera and producing. He’s had up and down times and back is top again and has given me some advice so that I don’t make some of the mistakes he made. I’ve had great people in my life like Jaime Foxx, Oprah Winfrey and John Singleton—incredible people who have sat me down and given me great tidbits and advice over the advice. You take what applies and what can affect you directly and implement that into your thought process.
The Source: Dude you’re in Fantastic Four!! How cool is that?
Michael B. Jordan: It’s a dream come true for me, honestly. It’s a great franchise that people know and I grew up reading it and loving. It’s a special feeling and a dream come true.
The Source: Do you ever take a step outside of yourself and say, Wow I’m in a Marvel Movie?
Michael B. Jordan: Yeah man. It’s kind of crazy, because it’s something I’ve known about for about a year and some change. So it’s something that for me, I’ve had that moment a long time ago, But, I had to be quiet about it because I couldn’t talk about it for like a year and a half. When people ask me about it, I gotta be like: ‘Ah you know, I don’t know what’s going on!’ Now that it’s here. I’m just ready to go do it. It’s kind of surreal, the comic books that I used to go down to the comic books store for $2 dollars here, I’m actually going to be in those comic books. I’m actually going to be playing a character that’s been seen one way for a long time. Now we’re giving them a new life and a new take. I’m extremely excited about the example it is setting. I’m excited about being part of this marvel world.
The Source: You’ve said you’ve known for about a year and some change that you’d be in Fantastic 4. Michael, how hard was it to keep that under wraps?
Michael B. Jordan: It was the hardest thing ever! That was rough! You don’t want to say no or lie. You just have to beat around the bush, avoid it, skip over it. I don’t know—it was rough. It feels good to take away the gag order and be able to talk about it.
The Source: You’re a big basketball guy. The Source covered you at the NBA All Star Celebrity game. What are your predictions for the NBA Finals?
Michael B. Jordan: Man, I feel like Miami’s going to win it. I think LeBron is going to three-peat—I think it’s going to happen! The road to get there, that’s just something else. I think Indiana has to do some soul searching right now. They have to figure something out in that locker room and I think that’s what it is. We have to see how Roy Hibbert steps up, he’s such a big piece. He’s so big defensively. I also feel like the Oklahoma City Thunder have all the right pieces to go to the NBA Finals. You can’t overlook Greg Popovich and the Spurs. He will coach his way into the finals like Tom Izzo and Michigan State—he will coach his way into the Finals regardless of his roster. It’s going to be a good one. It’s a good playoffs. I’m like a pig in sh*t I love the NBA Playoffs.
Check out Michael B. Jordan in action during the Celebrity Hoops Game at NBA All Star Weekend In New Orleans