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Mr. Right : Wiles Magazine

Mr. Right

MICHAEL B. JORDAN

By Teryl Warren

Photo Credit: JSquared Photography

So, ladies, what exactly is your image of “Mr. Right?”  Is he the quarterback of the football team?  A hero who will protect you from all possible harm?  Or is “Mr. Right” an “Average Joe” with a heart of gold? Well, if any of these describes your ideal guy, then rising star Michael B. Jordan might just be your man!

Wiles recently caught up with Michael upon his return from South Africa where he was shooting one of the lead roles in the Twentieth Century Fox feature film CHRONICLE, set for release February 2012.

“[Going to] South Africa changed my life – for the better,” he shared. “It really opened my eyes.  The kids there are so full of life and hope.  They have so little, but they don’t take anything for granted.”

An independent spirit, a deep sense of culture, and the desire to achieve at the highest level, possible, are all attributes that can be used to describe Michael B. Jordan (no relation to the basketball god).  And, in the case of art imitating life, these are some of the same attributes he brings to his character portrayals.  Whether running football drills with a coordinator at six o’clock in the morning, or sitting at the feet listening to war stories from World War II pilots, Michael fully immerses himself in everything he does.

“Acting is a mix of personal experience and fantasy.  It’s a balance,” he said.  “If you’re not passionate about the work, it’s gonna show.”

The son of a chef, Michael learned to cook as a child, and by age eleven, he was already serving up the likes of Rainbow trout stuffed with couscous. “My father takes cooking very seriously,” he laughed.  In addition to cooking, he enjoys traveling, music, and, of course, working!

In fact, when talking with Michael, you can’t help but sense his genuine excitement about his budding career.  And why not?  After all, he’s got a lot to be excited about.

Although still in his twenties, Michael B. Jordan has already begun to make a name for himself as a well-respected and much sought-after actor around town. This Newark, New Jersey native first captivated audiences in his critically acclaimed portrayal of a wayward youth on the HBO dramatic series “The Wire.”  Since then, he has gone on to star as quarterback ‘Vince Howard’ on FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS (NBC).  And his turn as escort fighter pilot “Maurice ‘Bumps’ Wilson in George Lucas’ highly anticipated Red Tails – the story of the Tuskegee Airmen – the first African American pilots to fly in a combat squadron during WWII – is a role that this history buff was particularly anxious to take on.

 

Courtesy of the Atterbury-Bakalar Museum

“I felt really proud to be in the presence of the surviving Tuskegee Airmen.  They’re history.  And at eighty-five years old, they can still remember dates, log times, missions,” he marveled. “Playing one of them was a big responsibility and an honor.”

 

From left to right: Tristan Childs, Michael B. Jordan, Nate Parker, Ne-Yo and David Oyelowo

The film, which also stars Academy Award-nominee Terrence Howard and Academy Award-winner Cuba Gooding, Jr., is directed by Anthony Hemingway and is set for release in January of 2012.

Easy-going, yet hard-working, inspired and completely grounded.  Michael B. Jordan is well on his way to becoming one of Hollywood’s hottest young stars.  And, if he has anything to say about it, the next time you hear the name “Michael Jordan,” you won’t be thinking about basketball.

Tune in this fall to catch Michael B. Jordan in his current role as ‘Alex’ on the hit show PARENTHOOD (NBC).

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