This Friday, the film ”Chronicle”, about high school students who acquire super powers, premieres. Though it’s an action film at it’s core, there are elements of horror and cinema vérité. A major strength of Chronicle is it’s cast, which includes Michael B. Jordan. Jordan is steadily rising to super stardom after appearing on such hit shows as ”The Wire”, ”Friday Night Lights”, ”Parenthood”, and George Lucas’s ”Red Tails”. Moviehole had the chance to ask the talented actor some questions about super powers, the appeal of ”Chronicle”, and his favorite roles.
”Chronicle” centers on three high school students who gain superhuman abilities. This must have been difficult to portray. What research did you do beforehand?
Not even pick up a comic?
I didn’t do any research. I’m a comic book fan. I grew up watching X-Man and tons of superpower cartoons and whatnot so it was kind of like me reliving a childhood dream.
The film deals with using powerful gifts in a negative manner. What do you think is the universal message conveyed by the film?
I think that’s such a small part of the movie – I think there’s not an overall message to our movie. I think there are a few different messages that kind of stream through the movie – it just depends on the person and what they take from it. I don’t think Andrew is the quote on quote villain of the film; that’s why I like Chronicle it’s grounded. Andrew doesn’t have any malicious intent. He comes from a horrible family life and he didn’t have any friends – he was bullied and picked on. When you come from a place with no power and suddenly get all the power in the world, it will corrupt you a little.
…There are so many running themes. I think he was more or less a kid that didn’t know who he was, who didn’t know how to express himself, as most teenagers are. In Chronicle, they document it… like most kids do via Youtube or Facebook or Twitter. Everyone documents their lives now, that’s where the ability to relate comes in. Everyone has a Facebook or Twitter nowadays. It’s all about the decisions you make and if you chose to document your life, make sure you do it well.
Though it’s considered an action film, the initial trailer appeared before showings of ‘Paranormal Activity 3′. Do you think fans of horror films will find something to enjoy?
Yeah I think they will. I think it’s all genres wrapped up into one.
It’s a mesh, yes!
It will make you smile, it’ll make you laugh, it’ll make you angry, it’ll make you cry. There’s some shock factor in there too. I don’t see why anybody wouldn’t want to watch this film. Its hits on all genres. I think everybody would enjoy it!
You’re worked on some incredible shows such as ‘The Wire, ‘Friday Night Lights’, and ‘Parenthood” as well as films like ‘Red Tails’. What have been some of your favorite roles and why?
Wallace is one of my favorites because it kind of started my television career. It’s one of my more popular roles. It has touched all types of people. I think that’s what makes it count for me, is that I did something that I really, really enjoyed. One of my other favorite characters would be Vince from Friday Night Lights because he represents so many kids from all over the country – Kids from broken homes who have so many responsibilities on their shoulders. At the end of the day, he never had a chance to be a kid. Vince shows the choices that a kid in that position would make. I was able to show people another layer and another side of that stereotype and it helps when Jason Katims writes such an incredible character.
Yep, we all loved Vince on “Friday Night Lights”. And what about working on “Red Tails” for Mr. Lucas?
Playing Maurice in Red Tails was a big deal to me because I’m representing a part of my history and culture. It means a lot to me to play him, to show people a part of history that kind of got swept under the rug.
Let’s go way back. Your very first film was the baseball tearjerker ‘Hardball’ with Keanu Reeves. What did you learn on set that has stayed with you throughout your career?
I was so young, I was just having a good time.
Where were you in your life at that time?
That was my first movie that I did… I was just a kid living in the moment. I didn’t really put that much thought into it. I’ve grown tons since then. I’ve been lucky enough to grow in age and to mature in my work at the same time. From project to project, I have gotten better… raising the bar for myself. As I get older I am able to mentally be ready for growth and to challenge myself. In Hardball I was a kid playing a kid and was able to have fun. I was working under the direction of Brian Robbins and he was able to get a lot from me.
Your later roles are the performance-carving parts, then?
Through Friday Night Lights and Parenthood, I was able to grow and mature with the people I was working with. I acted opposite of Peter Krause, Monica Potter, Kyle Chandler and they completely raised the bar for me. It’s been a constant education for me.