Michael B. Jordan on Action, Comic Books and the Challenges of Filming Fantastic Four for the Home Entertainment release
In the highly anticipated superhero film, FANTASTIC FOUR, from 20th Century Fox, Michael B. Jordan plays Johnny Storm. Along with Reed Richards (Miles Teller), Sue Storm (Kate Mara), and Benjamin “Ben” Grimm (Jamie Bell), Johnny undergoes physical changes after mankind’s first journey to an alternative universe. Johnny’s transformation leaves him able to cover himself in fire that never burns him, combust the air around him, shoot fireballs, and propel himself through the air on jets of flame.. After these changes, he becomes known as the “Human Torch”.
After appearing in both The Sopranos and The Wire, Michael B. Jordan rose to prominence with his role in the NBC drama Friday Night Lights as quarterback Vince Howard. Within a year he also took on a recurring role in the show Parenthood.
His diverse television career also includes appearances in CSI, Without A Trace, Cold Case, Burn Notice, Bones, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and House, where he played a blind patient.
His feature film career began with 2001’s Hardball, which starred Keanu Reeves. In 2012 Jordan appeared in the George Lucas-produced movie Red Tails and in the Josh Trank-directed phenomenon Chronicle, a tale of three teenage boys who develop superpowers.
Jordan earned critical acclaim for his starring role as Oscar Grant in Fruitvale Station, which debuted at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award for U.S. dramatic film. The film was also screened in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival where it won the award for Best First Film.
In 2014, Jordan worked with his soon-to-be Fantastic Four colleague Miles Teller in the comedy That Awkward Moment, starring Zac Efron. Jordan will reunite with his Fruitvale Station director, Ryan Cooler for Creed, a spin-off from the Rocky film series focusing on Apollo Creed’s grandson, played by Jordan.
The following interview took place in Los Angeles on April 16, 2015.
Tell us about what you think we can expect from this version of the Fantastic Four.
It’s the Fantastic Four! It’s fun. These are characters you may be familiar with, but you’re seeing them in a new, fresh way. It’s a different take. I think the film is grounded in real emotions - you get to know these characters and hopefully care about them. They’e learning about themselves at the same time. It’s a superhero movie, but a grounded superhero movie. It’s exciting. It’s an action packed drama.
Is it fair to say it takes from a few different eras of the comic books?
Yeah, it kind of takes from all over the place, but particularly the Ultimate series. I think the elements were put together very strategically by Simon [Kinberg] and Josh Trank to support the story they wanted to tell.
What are your thoughts on your character, Johnny Storm?
Well, Johnny’s Johnny, you know! Like all of them, he’s figuring out who he is. He’s charismatic. He’s fun. But he’s got to deal with stuff. That’s what this is about. It’s about when life throws curve balls at you, how you adapt. How do you deal with obstacles that you may encounter in your life?
How did you approach the role?
Pretty much how I would approach any other role. You’re playing a person, a kid who is dealing with things. Obviously, I was excited to do it. I didn’t really need to research the role as I was a huge Fantastic Four and comic book fan already.
Is it different though, being cast as a superhero?
Specifically for this project, I'm not cast as a superhero. I'm Johnny Storm, who’s just a regular guy who becomes something. We're becoming the Fantastic Four that everyone else knows. It’s the journey to get there.
FANTASTIC FOUR IS OUT ON BLU-RAY AND DVD ON DECEMBER 14