Michael B. Jordan is Tired of Traditional Civil Rights Era Biopics + Wants Fresh Roles for Actors of Color

In a recent interview with Vulture, Michael B. Jordan and Ryan Coogler open up about their annoyance with typecasting for black actors.

Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

But as excited as Jordan and Coogler are to enter the world of franchise filmmaking, they seem even more excited to use their new clout to make the types of movies they don’t see in theaters right now. Both are tired of only traditional civil-rights-era biopics. “You got to tell stories in today, or in the future,” says Jordan. “Or can we go back even further? There’s always one period that people want to go back to, but can we go back to Hannibal? Or Mansa Musa, destroying economies as he traveled? Can we go back to the Egyptians?”

The tone isn’t starry-eyed or naïve but more, wait, let’s make a movie about Hannibal, why not? They’re clearly just beginning to come to grips with what they’ve created for themselves, and what it could mean for the future. They’re still humble, but also brash in a way that is infectious. “I used to get crushed when I was younger and would watch movies about young people,” says Coogler. “And I’d be like, No — that’s not us. Or reading articles about the millennial generation — people making general statements about us. Again, no. Wrong. Just hire us, bruh. Hire me and let me work.” Says Jordan: “The majority of roles out there are written not by us” — meaning young black people — “so if [most writers’] only interaction with someone who looks like me is from stereotypes, what you see on TV, then those are the types of roles that are going to keep getting written. Also, I don’t have to go out for every role that’s written black. I want to go out for the role that’s written [with race unspecified] — I’m going to make that role black regardless.” They’re excited to change preconceived notions about black film, while not abandoning the idea of being blacks in film. “Black art, it’s so complicated. Because there is no white art,” Coogler said. “Because, whether people want to admit it or not, you know, in this country, in this culture, white is seen as the norm. Because there’s no need to identify it as anything, it’s looked at as standard. Which, if you compare and contrast that, there’s an inherent unfairness to it.”

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  1. I’m tired of these bios too but if anything we need more black directors and producers so we can tell more diverse stories.

  2. They’re right . However , like Jada P Smith , MBJ’s timing is suspect and his motives are bias . Had he gotten an Oscar , he’d gladly stick with the status quo . He often comes off as hypocritical , and his stance has zero strong hold until he truly proves that his motives are purely sincere .

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