CR Fashion Book: Becoming Human
By Renee Hernandez
It did not surprise me to see actor Michael B. Jordan’s words, "Becoming Human," in the latest issue of CR Fashion Book. Actors such as Anne Hathaway and Kirsten Dunst among others have contributed short stories or essays in past issues.
In the editorial "Lee Daniels Fairy Tale Theater," Oscar winner Lee Daniels gives us a modern reinterpretation of all the classic fairy tales — Snow White, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty — starring Joan Smalls as the heroine and, for obvious reasons, Michael B. Jordan as the leading man. My instinct tells me that Carine Roitfeld is on to something by spotlighting him twice in this issue.
I confess, I have been following MBJ for a while now. He won my heart as Vince in Friday Night Lights (my all-time favorite television show), and that high schooler/super hero with telekinetic powers in Chronicle. I have never seen the series The Parenthood but I’ve read that he was great in that as well. Wallace in The Wire. And now the role of a lifetime in Fruitvale Station where his performance as shooting victim Oscar Grant has everyone drawing comparisons to major heavyweight Denzel Washington.
Fruitvale Station is a powerful yet heartbreaking portrayal of the last 24 hours of Grant’s life. You see a love story develop towards all the people he cares about and yet you know what’s going to happen. I think the real power of this film is feeling that constant struggle between good and evil from within... coming to that inevitable fork in the road and trying to make the right decision. That is so real to me. Michael B. Jordan plays this with just the right balance and nuance. Oh man, I was a complete goner. It reminds me of Jordan’s character in Friday Night Lights because I think he also struggled with the same complicated urges.
I loved reading Michael B. Jordan’s process on getting into character. This is my favorite part:
“To make it as real as possible, in each character you have to find a little bit of yourself, and you have to really be vulnerable and raw. You have to be completely honest with yourself in order to give an honest performance.
I always write a journal for my character: where he’s coming from, his fears, his strengths, what he ate that day, the last time he got into an argument, the last time he got whupped, does he get whupped, is he a hard worker, is he a dreamer, is he a pessimist. All of that molds and shapes my character and how he will act and react in certain situations. It’s cool to see characters make a decision, and I always think I just happen to be playing some really amazing characters who have to make some tough choices in the moment and who people, really, really care about.”
I think Carine Roitfeld is telling us that it is time to pay attention to Michael B. Jordan.
CR Fashion Book editorial images © 2014 CR Fashion Book.