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5 Facts About "Black Panther's" Michael B. Jordan from Men's Health Magazine

Black Panther (2018) N'Jadaka / Erik "Killmonger" Stevens (Michael B. Jordan)
Michael B. Jordan, who plays Erik Killmonger in "Black Panther" is on the cover of Men's Health and talks about playing a black man in Fahrenheit 451, meeting the basketball star and more.

In the May issue of "Men's Health" magazine, they talk with Jordan about a lot of things. His rising status in Hollywood, his activism, and, of course, his workout routine. Along the way, they also talk about some very deep stuff reminding us that he's a well-rounded and versatile actor.

1. Jordan Almost Didn't Want to Play an "Authority Figure"

Fahrenheit 451 (2018) - Guy Montag (Michael B. Jordan)
31-year old Jordan plays Guy Montag in HBO's "Fahrenheit 451" which he also executive produced. But it wasn't always that way. Based on the classic 1953 dystopian novel by Ray Bradbury he plays a "fireman" who seeks out and uses a flamethrower to destroy books censored by the government. It premieres this month, Jordan understands how contemporary the message is. But he wasn't sure he wanted to play an authority figure. 

"I was cautious," he says. "I wasn't exactly sure if I wanted to play an authority figure due to the relationship between my community and the police. I wasn't sure if I wanted to play that character. But once I got into the book, heard what [director] Ramin [Bahrani] envisioned, and understood what he wanted to say, then it was like, 'I got it. I want to be a part of it.' "

"Bradbury's a true visionary, and those guys predict life, you know? That book could've been written two weeks ago — the burning of books and erasing the past and only focusing on what the people in power dictate what your reality is. It's eerily scary to what it is today."

2. Jordan Didn't Take the Role Just to "Race Change" the Character

Fahrenheit 451 (2018) - Guy Montag (Michael B. Jordan)
Michael B. Jordan also recognizes that character isn't  "traditionally written for an African American." Even though he broke racial norms to play the typically blonde-haired Human Torch in Josh Trank's "Fantastic Four" he still wants to keep the role authentic. 

"That was important to me, to create an example. That it can work. The best actor should get the job regardless, as long as it's not conflicting with the facts of a character." He offered a sly smile and added: "I couldn't play Wonder Woman, right?"

3. Michael B. Jordan Requires Equal Pay for Women

He has his own production company named Outlier Society and last March, he announced that they would adopt inclusion riders — contract clauses mandating diversity — for all of its projects.

"Technology has a lot to do with it," Jordan says. "Everyone feels connected. Some person somewhere with an opinion can go online, say what they want, and it's in front of everybody. It's easier for people to unite, stand behind one another. I think history repeats itself. There's a constant conversation between the oppressed and the oppressor. No matter what your field is, whether it's gender equality, the Time's Up movement, or diversity casting, it's always going to be a back-and-forth battle. But this time it does feel different. Sometimes you need to have the same conversation over and over until it sticks. Maybe this is the time it starts to stick."

4. Michael B. Jordan Hasn't Met Michael Jordan

Michael Bakari Jordan is named after his father Michael A. Jordan, but people always ask him if he's met the famous NBA player Michael Jordan. The answer is: no.

"I never met Michael Jordan," Jordan confesses. "I never want to officially meet him until I’m at a point where he knows who I am and I know who he is. And it would be our mutual respect thing. Until then it would just be a ‘this guy has your name, haha.’ I don’t want that. So that pushes me to keep working too. These things motivate me."

Maybe they'll meet in "Space Jam 2".

5. Michael B. Jordan's Workout is Old-School

When preparing for his role as Killmonger in "Black Panther" he did some old school workouts to add beef to his frame. The magazine lists eight exercises that he does.

Do each arm exercise "21s-style," says MBJ's trainer, Corey Calliet. That means 21 total reps per set. For the first 7 reps, curl from the bottom of the motion until your forearms are parallel to the floor. For the next 7, curl from parallel to the floor until the top of the motion. Then do 7 full curls. Do 1 set of each move; that's 1 round. Do 4 total rounds, resting as needed.
Load an EZ-curl bar with a medium-heavy weight and sit on a preacher bench. Grab the bar with an underhand grip and curl the weight upward.
Stand with your arms at your sides, shoulders back, holding a barbell or EZ-curl bar loaded with a medium-heavy weight. Use an underhand, shoulder-width grip. Without letting your shoulders roll forward, curl the weight upward, squeezing your biceps as you do.
Warm up with two sets of pushups, and then set up a rack for each of the following exercises. Each should be loaded with a weight you can lift 8 times. Do 8 reps each of the barbell bench press, incline bench press, decline bench press, and overhead press in order; then rest. Repeat, removing 20 pounds from the bar after each round. (So if you start with 130 pounds, you'd be down to 50 pounds by the fifth round.) Complete at least 5 rounds like this; Jordan does 8. Rest as needed between exercises.
Lie on a flat bench and hold a barbell above your chest using an overhand, shoulder-width grip. Bend your elbows and lower it to your chest; press it back up. That's 1 rep.
Lie on an incline bench and hold a barbell above your chest using an overhand, shoulder-width grip. Bend your elbows and lower it to your chest; press it back up. That's 1 rep.
Lie on a decline bench and hold a barbell above your chest using an overhand, shoulder-width grip. Bend your elbows and lower it to your chest; press it back up. That's 1 rep.
Stand holding a barbell at your shoulders using an overhand grip, your hands just beyond shoulder width. Tighten your core and glutes and straighten your arms upward to push the barbell overhead. Return to the start. That's 1 rep.
It's a pretty good article and worth the read so pick up your copy of Men's Health if you want to learn more.

What do you think of the interview?

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