Michael B. Jordan was pegged as a one to watch after 2012’s surprise sci-fi hit Chronicle and the following year’s acclaimed indie film Fruitvale Station, but it’s his lead role in brilliant new Rocky spin-off film Creed that’s taken him onto the Hollywood A-list. Here are seven things you might not know about the rapidly rising star.
1. The ‘B’ in his name stands for Bakari, which means “promising” in Swahili.
2. He wasn’t named after basketball legend Michael Jordan, and he’s never met his sporting namesake either.
3. Before he began his acting career at the age of 12, he worked as a child model for Toys R Us and US sporting goods chain Modell’s.
4. His very first screen role came in a 1999 episode of The Sopranos, in which he played a character called Rideland Kid. He was credited simply as “Michael Jordan”.
5. His breakthrough role in Chronicle was rewritten especially for him. “That role was originally for Steve Kazinsky, a white guy,” he told Under the Radar shortly before the film came out. “I got it and they changed it. Those are the type of colourless roles that I want, that I’m looking forward to playing.”
6. His ambitions don’t just lie in front of the camera. “I want to make that move from actor to producer, like Will Smith,” he told GQ in 2011.
7. He sculpted his Creed physique by working out two-to-three times a day, six days a week, for around 10 months. During this period, he would eat every two and a half hours to ensure his body had the fuel to build lead muscle tissue.
Creed is out in UK cinemas now. Watch the trailer below.