Michael B. Jordan wants all of the characters he plays to live until the very end of the movie. And if that’s not the case, he’s not interested in taking on the role.
It was something the actor talked about on Sept. 7 at the Toronto International Film Festival, and he said his decision is twofold.
“I never thought about what my mom went through seeing her son die so many times and how she would cry so hard and it would tear me up, and when I got older and matured and started looking at things, I was like, ‘Man, I can’t do this anymore,'” he explained.
For one, Jordan said he doesn’t want the viewing audience to get accustomed to seeing him die on screen. And two, his characters being killed throughout the years had a terrible effect on his mother.
“Part of the reason why I almost refused a lot of roles [was] because I can’t die anymore,” Jordan added. “I want people to see me live. I want for me, as a character, I want to survive all three acts. I want people to watch me right into the credits.”
Some might remember Jordan as the character Wallace from the acclaimed HBO series “The Wire,” where he played a teenage drug dealer, who was shot and killed by the characters Bodie and Poot. That scene hurt his mother badly when it was filmed, which also led to Jordan’s decision to take on roles that allow him to live.
“It started with my mom, who’s super-emotional. When I shot my death scene in ‘The Wire,’ she was on set,” Jordan told the New York Times last year. “And the P.A.’s kept coming to me and saying, ‘You may want to check on your mom.’ I go see her, and she’s sitting there bawling. I’m just a kid. I’m going, ‘Come on, Ma. You’re embarrassing me.’”
Then when Jordan played Oscar Grant in the 2013 film Fruitvale Station, who was killed by a police officer in Oakland, California, the actor’s mother was equally torn apart.
“And after ‘Fruitvale Station,’ I was like, ‘Man, this is really affecting her,’” he remembered.