Exclusive: Michael B. Jordan shares the advice given to him by Jon Favreau and Bradley Cooper about balancing acting and directing in Creed III.
Michael B. Jordan shares the advice given to him by Jon Favreau and Bradley Cooper about balancing directing and acting in Creed III. Jordan has starred as Adonis Creed in all three films and was also a producer on Creed II. Creed III is Jordan’s directorial debut, which he also produced.
In an exclusive interview with Screen Rant, Jordan explained why he specifically asked for advice from Favreau and Cooper. He also explained what his biggest concerns were about both directing and starring in Creed III.
Michael B. Jordan: Preparation. To be prepared; storyboard. Talking to Bradley Cooper, Jon Favreau, and the actor-directors was really important to me. [I wanted] to really speak to them and get their perspective on that anxiety of directing while you’re in a scene. Sometimes, you are watching a bit of things, and not fully worried about acting. But then there’s moments where you’re fully locked into acting, and not watching as much.
Finding that balance between when you do and when you don’t, and how to give the crew and the cast what they need so they can do what they need to do as well, is a balance. They took that anxiety off me; that weight off me of, “Okay, cool, this is what’s gonna happen.” It’s like, “Okay. I can stop thinking about that, because that’s what’s gonna happen.” And then you just find your own rhythm that just flows from there.
During Tessa Thompson’s exclusive interview with Screen Rant, she broke down why she was confident Jordan would succeed in his directorial debut.
Tessa Thompson: I feel like the thing that sometimes gets underestimated about actors, if I’m honest, is that when you work a lot, you learn a lot about the filmmaking process. And you are, in a way, an active part of the filmmaking process and a filmmaker yourself. And Mike has been working since he was nine years old. So while this is his directorial debut, he’s worked for so long that I think it’s a very amazing and natural extension of the work that he’s been doing for so long.
Creed III: A Perfect Example Of Why Actors Can Make Strong Directors
More actors are moving behind the camera, with people like Favreau, Cooper, George Clooney, and Ben Affleck helming their passion projects both as directors and actors. Jordan took on an especially challenging task for his first foray into directing with the third installment of a hugely successful franchise. However, Thompson’s point about actors learning and understanding filmmaking makes sense, and directing being an extension of what Jordan has been doing for years explains why his first experience directing was a success.
Jordan is able to approach Creed from an entirely different perspective from the other two directors, incorporating elements of anime and Westerns along with his experience playing Adonis Creed and being a part of the boxing scenes in each movie. Jordan brings a fresh style to the fight scenes and deeply explores a character that he has been playing since 2018. When actors take on a larger role behind the scenes as producers, writers, or directors, they often begin with a story or property they are already passionate about, which, like with Creed, can be a franchise they are already at the center of.
Jordan actively seeking out advice from fellow actor directors shows his commitment and mindfulness when working on Creed III. Actors often know how to pull great performances out of actors, they understand character, story, and filmmaking because of their experience as an integral part of the process. Jordan’s success directing Creed III encapsulates why so many actors are able to make that shift, especially when working with a cast and crew that they know and that actively wants them to succeed.
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