Michael B. Jordan’s ‘Take’ on Auditions

March 15, 2015


You might recognize him as East Dillon High School quarterback Vince Howard in Friday Night Lights, or as the teenage drug dealer Wallace in The Wire, or the shooting victim Oscar Grant in Fruitvale Station. Both People and Variety named him as an actor to watch. And you’ll be seeing more of him this August when with the release of the upcoming Fantastic Four; Michael B. Jordan will star as the Human Torch.

In this Off Camera interview, Jordan explains his approach to auditions. “I want to feel like I worked harder than everybody else. So when I walk into an audition, it’s like you’ve got to have a little, not cockiness, but confidence to it.”

There was a time when Michael dreaded the auditioning process, that is, until he started to feel more confident through a gradual increase of successes. Over time, his mental stance evolved; now whenever he walks through the audition room doors he says his approach is:

“This is my take. Instead of ‘Let me go and try to give them what they want.’…Before you give me any notes or anything like that, let me just give you my version, ’cause this is my take, and now it’s a conversation. Then you realize the power you have as an actor. It’s like once you’re in that room, that’s your time…slow-down time.”

He says to “milk it” in the audition room, work out the specifics of the character, and his or her state of mind as it relates to the dialogue. Being straightforward about your interpretation, and listening to the casting professional’s input turns what could be just a quick audition into a collaborative process. This benefits both the actor as well as the director, producers–and the project overall.

“This is what film making is all about,” Jordan asserts.

Michael is currently filming Creed where he plays the grandson of Rocky Balboa’s colleague and friend, Apollo Creed. The film is scheduled to come out in November.