A Few Steps from Legendary: Michael B. Jordan

by: iman n. milner

The sun is out in Los Angeles, CA as actor Michael B Jordan strolls into a neighborhood barbershop to get ready for his first night out in many months. He walks in and shakes hands with all the familiar faces that congratulate him on his work and patiently waits for his turn in the chair. Dressed cool and laid-back in Nike sweats, Jordan blends in perfectly with the crowd of guys looking to be transformed and shows no expectation of receiving any type of special treatment.  In fact he is so humble and pleasant it’s hard to believe he just finished shooting two seasons of the hit NBC show, Friday Night Lights or that he’s been a recognizable face in the industry since his role as Reggie Montgomery on the long running ABC soap opera, All My Children. But anyone who knows him knows also that his humility is not an act. He is not your typical young Hollywood star in the making. Michael B Jordan is an original in a town full of carbon copies and his successes thus far indicate that his future will be nothing short of amazing.

Growing up in Newark, New Jersey, Jordan was into basketball, as were most of the kids in his neighborhood, and though he was immersed in the city he loves, he credits his mother with pushing him to see more.  “She wanted me to stay as busy as possible and stay out of the streets as much as I could”, Michael says, “she used to take me over to the city for auditions, go-sees, call-backs, etc…it was her way of showing me more.” And it was in this that he was first introduced to acting as a way of life. Jordan explains it as a ladder of sorts…stepping stones that begun with something he saw as a hobby that has become his career, a very promising one at that. With two major shows under his belt and a new film hitting theaters late this year, Michael is well on his way to being a household name. Having worked in this business along side many different types of entertainers, Jordan has seen first hand how much of a difference hard work and passion can make in ones career.  But also knows that with youth many people can forget to lay the proper foundation for a career in Hollywood. Speaking with the wisdom of a veteran performer, he lays out clearly his advice to people looking to venture into this business. “I warn them about what they’re getting themselves into and about the lows and the highs. Everybody sees the names in bright lights, the attention, the magazines and all of that stuff, but they don’t understand the work that goes into actually getting to that point” he explains, “know when you’re sleeping somebody else is up working. That’s how I look at it. I always want to be working more than the next man.”

And work is exactly what he’s been doing. Over the last few months, Michael B Jordan has been filming the NBC show, Friday Night Lights, the spinoff of the like titled film. In the show he plays a young man who he says has become his favorite role to date. His character, Vince, is a juvenile delinquent turned football star but it is his depth as a human being that impresses Michael. “You may think he’s a stereotypical inner city youth…gangs and violence, mom is on drugs, dad isn’t around but he has so much responsibility. He has a lot riding on his shoulders” Jordan says, “it was rewarding to play him and put him in a light that other kids in those situations can look at it and say, ok cool I can make the right decision, it’s very rewarding to play someone that other people can look up to”.  One cannot help but think that possibly Jordan’s affinity towards Vince is the thing they share in common: the gift and curse of being blessed with an undeniable talent. At 23 years old, he is able to say that he is truly living his dreams and reaping the benefits of an outstanding work ethic; especially in a field that Jordan himself admits can be daunting at times. But with the success comes the trials that most people never get to see. “The loneliness starts to kick in when you’re always traveling and you’re not around your family, I really take family seriously—so that’s the hardest thing for me”, Michael says.

And his crazy lifestyle doesn’t only affect his time with his family; it also affects his ability to settle down with a special someone. Admitting to having somewhat of an “old school” view of what a relationship should be between a man and a woman, Jordan finds it difficult to commit to something while he’s constantly on the run. “A woman has to be very understanding of what I do, the situation is not the average. A lot of times it’s the X factor. It’s the deal breaker in a lot of situations like everything can be perfect but this damn industry”, he admits with a laugh, “it’s not easy”. Jordan is honest when explaining that some of it is also his willingness to take a chance that he may not be completely ready for at this time in his life. “I’m young right now. Me and my friends, we aren’t dogs but we enjoy ourselves”, he says with a smile, “we’re enjoying all that life has to offer right now”.  But Michael has no reservations when it comes to knowing exactly what he’s looking for in that special woman. He insists that he focuses more on details than the bigger picture when picking out perspective lady friends saying, “just like women look at guys like they’re all the same sometimes men look at women the same way. So it’s the little things that set you apart and go a long way, at least with me.  She has to have a good sense of humor and she can’t be afraid to change and try new things—and I’ve got to be able to trust her”.  Trust is something that Michael admits means more to him after having had his heart broken, something that he confesses to when asked had he ever been in love. But Jordan doesn’t seem to have been jaded by that experience although it helped him to loosely define love as “unconditional”.  He goes on later to admit,  “it’s a very hard thing to define” but says, “it’s when you genuinely care about someone flaws and all. You don’t judge.” Michael does however believe that love over time has shifted into something much different than it used to be and that men have aided most in changing the definition. “Most relationships end when the guy messes up, it’s the dude who’s always got that primitive instinct in the back of his mind like ‘I need something new’ and he can LOVE whoever he’s with—the urge is always gonna be there it’s whether or not I’ll be man enough to ignore it”, he says.

But at this moment, Michael B Jordan is simply one of the guys. He’s not playing a role. He’s not trying to find Mrs. Right. He’s the self proclaimed “full time day dreamer” who’s constantly thinking of his next move. He’s the secret chef who one day plans to own a restaurant where he stops in to cook the special for the night. He’s the New Jersey native who’s mother showed him an alternative to the over saturated playground. He’s the man who doesn’t know if he’ll ever slow down enough to be married. He’s the handsome, talented kid you double take at on the street because you know you’ve “seen him somewhere before”. He’s a lot of things in this moment but one thing he’ll never be is forgettable because he is quite simply too special to overlook. He’s one of a kind even here in this barbershop on a sunny day in Los Angeles and though he may not show it…we’re certain that he knows

 

 

 

Photos By: Ashley B. Nguyen

62 Comments

  1. Very nice article/magazine! This is one link I am glad I clicked when I received it. The only thing that the writer did not do, which I think is crucial, is mention that Michael has a full time, been there in the home FATHER-also named Michael Jordan. His dad mentors neighborhood kids and has been coaching sports teams for decades. In fact, Michael B.also has a gorgeous sister and handsome brother along with his great Mom–one sincerely beautiful, close-knit family–the kind that let you know they are holding it down in Newark.

    Thanks for the article. I can’t wait to see Red Tails, his movie coming out and what is in store next for Michael B. Jordan!

    Posted by Isidra Person-Lynn on 01 August 10 at 2:11pm
  2. GREAT ARTICLE FOR A GREAT YOUNG MAN THAT COMES FROM A GREAT FAMILY!

    CHEERS MICHAEL!

    NICE MAGAZINE EDGE

    RICHARD L. SMITH
    CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
    RLS MEDIA SOLUTIONS BROADCASTING

    Posted by RICHARD L SMITH on 01 August 10 at 3:21pm
  3. I was gonna say the same thing! I was suprised the article didn’t mention that he had a father as well that is in his life ALL THE TIME.

    Posted by CB on 01 August 10 at 4:34pm
  4. disregard this comment, but im on a shared computer & it wont let me delete my “form” information

    Posted by X on 01 August 10 at 5:37pm
  5. I’m so impressed with the writing style and the magazine concept. I can also attest to the incredibly dedicated father that has been at the helm providing the stable environment in which creativity, passion. and dreams had a chance to grow in the Jordan home. Everyone helps to support each others projects and ventures. Michael you are truly a gem, your future is so bright the sun is wearing shades. Kudos to Iman Milner and Ashley B. Nguyen wonderful work.

    Posted by Iyabo Enilo on 01 August 10 at 6:02pm
  6. First I’ve got to say that the this was beautifully written. I was actually just introduced to Micheal’s work this year and am really happy to see a young man going for his. It’s refreshing to know that not only dreamers, but young men willing to work for what they want still exist! Not only that it’s great to highlight what an important role family plays in your life and success…

    I wish Mr. Jordan nothing but the best…

    Posted by L. on 02 August 10 at 6:43am
  7. I am so excited to see this young man getting the recognition and exposure that he truly deserves. Wonderful article Iman and Ashley, these photos are incredible. Michael B keep doing your thing!

    Posted by Jay on 02 August 10 at 7:09am
  8. I have been looking around on the net trying to find ideas on the way to get our web site coded, your current design together with design are wonderful. Did you actually code it yourself or did you hire a coder to get it done to suit your needs?

    Posted by Connie Stickrath on 02 August 10 at 7:09am
  9. Michael is my nephew. I know first hand what a dedicated hard worker he is. It has a lot to do with how he was raised. His parents have always been involved in his activities, encouraging him to aim high. We wish him many opportunities and much success.

    Posted by Jeanette Marable on 02 August 10 at 7:23am
  10. Thanks.

    Posted by Humberto Golaszewski on 02 August 10 at 8:02am
  11. Michael, I’m super super proud of you lovebug. Continue to follow your dreams and I will continue to support you in all that you do. Congrats on your current and future success!

    Janine B.

    Posted by Janine B on 02 August 10 at 8:45am
  12. I have known Mike since he was Reggie and I must say that he has not changed at all and has been a great friend. This article speaks volumes about his character! Real good dude! It was just a matter of time.

    Posted by Mr. Just Did It on 02 August 10 at 8:47am
  13. Thats my cousin, His father is the reason is is a nice young man ,and of course his wounderful mom.

    Posted by Robyn Henderson on 02 August 10 at 10:07am
  14. This is a great article highlighting a young man on the verge of adulthood and major success.
    I am proud that he a positive young man from NEWARK, NEW JERSEY….we make them tough as Brickz here….lol…. I’m not worried about Mr. Jordan I’m worried about Hollywood!

    Posted by Malik on 02 August 10 at 11:27am
  15. This article was beautifully written and fulfilled its purpose for featuring the young actor and the young man. Next time during a family speical edition the writer can include the whole family. Great JOb. Great magazine

    Posted by Indy on 02 August 10 at 11:28am
  16. Michael, this is great. I love this article. We love you and we tell everyone we know in Columbus to watch when you are TV. Keep up the good work and much success :~D

    Posted by Karen Calloway on 02 August 10 at 5:21pm
  17. Congrats on your success thus far. I watched you on All My Children and had no idea you were part of my family. I am truly proud and blessed to be related. I know your parents are very proud of you and we all are looking for great things to come.

    Posted by Beverly Burks on 03 August 10 at 10:48pm
  18. I had the privilege of working with Mr Mike B and he is without a doubt, one of the most humble, caring, and deserving individuals I have ever met. In a dog eat dog type of world, there is mike who would give you his burger if you needed something to eat that bad. I never once heard him mention anything he had done previously in his career or brag about it, and when asked, ” Were you in that show?” his reply is simply “Yea” and moves on. A class act.

    Posted by L on 04 August 10 at 4:13pm
  19. Wallace from the Wire! This is a very well written article. I can appreciate the depths it goes to depict Jordan’s familial background, character, and successes.

    TAJ II

    Posted by TAJ II on 05 August 10 at 10:49am
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