The Black Panther star stopped by to talk about his turn as Erik Killmonger who is considered a villain of the Marvel film, but, in all honesty, he does bring up some good points when it comes to cultural identity. As one of the most groundbreaking films of the year, Black Panther was a significant cultural moment and a mood for cinema and the Black community that moved the needle when it came to representation in the industry.
Jordan dived deep into how Black Panther went beyond being just a superhero movie. Yes, we have all heard this was a movement, but unpacked the ideas and philosophies of the groundbreaking movie even more. As much as it is a movie for everyone, the narrative explores the idea of cultural identity that applies to many people of color — specifically African vs. African American. This spills over into other groups and how many struggle with being Asian vs. Asian American or Latino vs. Latino American. It’s about bridging the two and reconciling the fact that there isn’t that much a difference and that it’s more about unity. It’s something Killmonger was trying to do in Black Panther. Sure his methods were questionable, aggressive, and mad — but it’s the thought that counts, right?
In addition to talking about playing Killmonger (who he likens to a hybrid of Malcolm X, Magneto and Tupac), Jordan talks about his early career working on iconic TV shows like The Wire and Friday Night Lights as well as being part of a legendary franchise like Creed. He also filled us in on what is next on his plate, what he hopes the inclusion rider (his production company Outliers, was one of the first to adopt it) will do for underrepresented voices in the industry, and most importantly, we talk about what his favorite food was while filming Friday Night Lights in Austin.
Listen to the episode below.