Last year, Michael B. Jordan brought the house down as Killmonger in the smash-hit movie Black Panther. Jordan received tons of praise for his portrayal of the villain, who quickly rose the ranks as one of the best MCU villains ever. However, it turns out playing that emotionally hardened role really took a toll on the actor. He recently said that after he completed filming, he was still in a dark space and needed the help of therapy to move past the role.
As Black Panther fans well remember, Erik Killmonger is the cousin of T'Challa. Erik was left orphaned and abandoned after his father was killed by his uncle, King T'Chaka. Erik learned about Wakanda from his father and spent his whole life acquiring the skills he would need to one day enter the country and steal the throne. That's a fairly abridged version of Killmonger's motives, which were some of the most complex of any MCU villain.
He's an intense character, and one that Michael B. Jordan played extremely well, and it was harder for the actor to shake off the role than he had anticipated. Jordan has previously spoken about how he was left depressed after playing Killmonger, isolating himself from others.
It got to the point where the actor needed to get some professional help to get past and understand the emotions that he was feeling. Michael B. Jordan told Oprah Winfrey during her SuperSoul Conversations TV Special (via USA Today (opens in new tab)) that he went to therapy for help. To prepare for the role, Jordan isolated himself because Killmonger had a lonely life, but even after filming wrapped, he found that he was still doing that.
After the movie was over, Michael B. Jordan said that he had to "readjust" to people caring about him and that therapy was "a lot of help." It's good to hear that Jordan was able get over that particular hump. Black Panther became the first superhero film to be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, and at least part of that has to be due to Jordan's performance. He obviously did a great job, but nothing is really worth it if it affects your mental health.
At least Michael B. Jordan may not have to enter that Killmonger headspace again soon. That's the benefit of your character dying, so he can just sit in the audience and enjoy Black Panther 2 like the rest of us. However, there are rumors that he could be involved in the sequel anyway. As we wait for that to be confirmed or denied, keep CinemaBlend's 2019 movie schedule handy for updates on everything ahead.
Matt has lived in New Jersey his entire life, but commutes every day to New York City. He graduated from Rowan University and loves Marvel, Nintendo, and going on long hikes and then greatly wishing he was back indoors. Matt has been covering the entertainment industry for over two years and will fight to his dying breath that Hulk and Black Widow make a good couple.
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