Hollywood heartthrob Michael B. Jordan tells you choosing the right script is like choosing the right move in a game of chess. Self-confessedly “a pretty calculated person”, Jordan’s game plan has clearly clicked so far.
Over the past decade, he has balanced Oscar Grant, the Black victim of police atrocity in “Fruitvale Station”, with the sporting hero of “Creed” and comicbook supervillain Erik Killmonger in “Black Panther”. Off screen, he was voted Sexiest Man Alive last year by People.
Jordan’s new film, “Without Remorse”, takes him into Tom Clancy’s high-octane zone of espionage and military-ops. The Stefano Sollima directorial is based on Clancy’ s 1993 novel of the same name and casts him as John Clark, a spin-off protagonist derived from the bestselling Jack Ryan universe.
“I am a pretty calculated person. The movies that I do make I am doing that for a reason, whether it be for the business sometimes or personally for myself. Chess moves. So, they are all moves that I am making intentionally,” the 34-year-old star tells IANS in a one-on-one interaction.
Having featured in a series of action thrillers, Jordan seems to have decoded what makes the genre popular across age groups globally.
“It’s fun to watch. If you got a nice action thriller and you added some heart to it and some stakes — you know like high stakes and some heart — and ground that in the character, then you got yourself a nice movie night and you can just leave it on,” he says.
Does filming become easier for projects as “Without Remorse” because there is a book to go back to for reference? “No, because the book is the book and has been around for some time. So, we were more or less adapting and adjusting the script that was present, and kind of like tailor it for myself, making it a little bit more modern and more representative of today,” says Jordan.
The actor had a great time working with director Stefano Sollima, who has carved his niche with films like the Italian neo-noir drama “Suburra” and the Hollywood action drama “Sicario: Day Of The Soldado”, besides web series such as “ZeroZeroZero” and “Gomorrah”.
“Whenever you can really vibe with your director, it makes everything that much easier. I love his work, which he did with ‘Sicario: Day Of The Soldado’, ‘ZeroZeroZero’ and ‘Gomorrah’. He sets a sensibility in his tone where he fits the movie style we are trying to shoot, and the movie that we wanted to make,” he says.
Jordan sums up recalling how Sollima preferred the actor perform his own stunts. “He wanted me to do all my stunts. So, it was really important that he wanted to shoot this movie to allow me to do the hard work and be able to do the most action that I could possibly do,” the actor explains.
“Without Remorse” features Jordan along with Guy Pearce, Jamie Bell, Jodie Turner-Smith, Luke Mitchell, Brett Gelman, Colman Domingo, Lauren London and Jacob Scipio in pivotal roles. The film drops digitally on Amazon Prime Video, on April 30.
(Durga Chakravarty can be contacted at [email protected])