In the interview, he discusses his idols – with one obviously being Washington himself; “Denzel perfected ‘leading man.’ He was like, ‘I’m going to f*cking dominate this one thing and master it’ — the specificity of that got him to the point where he is universal and can do anything.”
Washington is directing Jordan in upcoming romantic drama A Journal for Jordan, based on a 2008 memoir by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Dana Canedy. Canedy’s fiance, Sergeant Charles Monroe King, was killed in Iraq in 2006, and the book is addressed to their then-infant son. Canedy recounts their nearly decade-long relationship, as she weaves in excerpts from the 200-page diary of fatherly advice that King penned during his deployment. A Journal for Jordan will be released on Christmas Day.
While Jordan has huge respect and admiration for Washington, he identifies more with another idol, Will Smith; “Will took an enterprise approach, and that’s something I connect with. He says all the time that he doesn’t feel like he’s the most talented, but he works the hardest. It’s work ethic, big vision, marketability.”
Since launching his own production company – Outlier Society – in 2016, Jordan has produced or executive-produced everything he has starred in, with one exception – Black Panther. This has included 2019’s Just Mercy and 2021’s Without Remorse. He was also the first major movie star to adopt the inclusion rider.
As for taking on the directing reins on Creed III, Jordan says; “My ambition has intersected at this moment where I have the experience and knowledge to direct, the opportunity within a franchise to step behind the camera and [the ability] to maximize it by having a production company.”
He continues; “It’s my turn to make my impact while I have the energy and strength. I’ve got to tee up the ones that come after, but at the same time hyper-focus on what needs to be done right now. It’s the moment I’ve waited for my entire life. This is it. This can dictate the next 10, 15, 20 years.”