SI NOW

December 07, 2015

MICHAEL B. JORDAN

The 28-year-old actor discusses his career; preparations for his role in the latest Rocky movie, Creed; and growing up with the same name as someone else pretty famous.

MAGGIE GRAY: Which of your characters do you identify with most?

MICHAEL B. JORDAN: That's a hard question because they're all from different stages of life. My character Jamal [from Hard Ball] was pretty young, from when I was in middle school. Vince Howard [from Friday Night Lights] was in high school. Adonis Johnson [from Creed] is a grown man. I think I most identify with Adonis right now. When I was younger, Michael Jordan [of basketball fame]—obviously—was another guy I identified with. I always got teased and kind of picked on when I was younger, to the point where I thought about changing my name until I was able to finally embrace it. My dad's name is Michael Jordan too. So it gave me a healthy chip on my shoulder to strive to live up to and be great at something. I didn't know I wanted to act at the time. That was something I just fell into. But getting teased about my name gave me the motivation and drive to make my own legacy and make my own name.

MG: What did you do to prepare for your role as Adonis?

MBJ: Maybe about a year out, I started to crack down on training. My diet completely changed: grilled chicken, brown rice, broccoli. Different variations of healthy proteins, carbs, vegetables and a gallon and half of water a day. That's not as easy as it sounds. Then I worked out six days a week, two or three times a day. I consistently did that for about a year.

For more of Jordan's interview, plus the SI Now archive, go to SI.com/sinow

"I thought about changing my name a bunch of times."

—Michael B. Jordan

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