Michael B. Jordan has had a busy summer. He just wrapped filming on the “Fantastic Four” reboot where he plays Johnny Storm and he also stepped into the directors chair for the first time.
The Source Magazine had the opportunity to interview Jordan exclusively about teaming up with AXE for their new Gold Temptation campaign and his upcoming projects before he set sail on his #TemptationTuesday Yacht party on Tuesday evening.
Q: This collaboration that’s going on between you and AXE, how’d that get started?
Jordan: Man, it was an incoming phone call from my agent and it was just one of those opportunities that I couldn’t pass up, you know? I’ve always been a fan of AXE and when I heard about their new product and they sent it out to me for me to try and smell and I was like, oh man. It’s hard for me to talk about something I don’t care about or I’m not really into but once I tried it out for myself I was like, wow okay I can get into this. I know a lot of my boys and people that I know would love this stuff so let me just try to put my own fingerprints on it and just go along with the campaign. It worked out.
Q: This is a new scent that they’re bringing out?
Jordan: Yeah, it’s called Gold Temptation. It’s a follow up to Dark Temptation and … the smell is more chocolatey, it has some bright citrus flavors and it’s very layered. It has some spice. It’s not overwhelming. It’s one of those smells that you put on and you don’t realize you have it on anymore and somebody compliments you, they’re like, “Oh yeah, you smell great.” It feels good. It happens like three or four times throughout the day with people complimenting you on how you smell. It’s good, it’s a good scent.
Q: I’m gonna have to get myself one of those.
Jordan: Yeah I definitely recommend it, for sure man. But also, it’s just a whole play on temptation which I think is so clever. I feel like men and women…they did a study, they said 75% of guys and 60% of girls admit to not really understanding and getting the opposite sex and I was like wow…that’s a really, really high number. We wanted to do some social experiments to figure out why that was and how can we bridge that gap? How can we help men and women get each other? Not literally get in the physical sense but get as in understanding … what tempts them. You’ve gotta figure out what tempts them in order to get them. We do a nice little ad or commercial spot for it and we’re able to kind of put a fun twist on it but you know, we get the point across and it’s just a play on temptation. Your mind goes in many different places.
Q: Can you talk a bit about the videos that you worked on with AXE?
Jordan: You know, sometimes you’re in an elevator and you know … this is not like the actual test that we did but you know what I’m saying? It’s just a play on that. You know, yellow lights…you’re sitting there…green light turns yellow. You go, you stop, it’s like that little impulse, that moment where you’re not really sure what you should do, you know? But your instinct is like, alright I’m just gonna take the yellow. Or in an elevator, somebody’s coming…do you hold the elevator, do you stop? Do you let it go? Do you press the close button? What do you do? That piece of cake that you want, that branded jacket that you just want to buy, that impulse to go on Instagram or this and that. There’s so many different temptations that you have every day and we wanted to kind of implement those into the video in a fun way. And I think we got that down.
Q: You directed these ads for AXE, right?
Jordan: Co-directed actually.
Q: Do you hope to do more behind the scenes stuff in the future? Could this be a jumping off point for you?
Jordan: Yeah definitely. This is just the beginning of that. I’ve always wanted to direct and as I grow and I get older and I get older I just want to let that evolve. Start producing, some writing, directing is definitely what I want to do and I’ll be doing a lot more in the future as well. So for AXE to take a chance on me and to help me, you know, collaborating with them was just a really, really big deal for me. It shows that they bought into me and vice versa so it’s a good relationship.
Q: As you said, the project is centered around this idea of temptation and kind of relationships. Was there any advice that was passed along to you from somebody that you could pass along to others to regards to how to go about these temptations and relationships in modern society.
Jordan: Yeah, sometimes you gotta go with your first instinct. You gotta go with your gut. That’s kind of how I live my life, you gotta go with your gut. Like your first initial thought. Sometimes you’re overthinking, you convince yourself to get out of it and you’re like, “Ah I shoulda did that!” You can’t live life with regrets. Sometimes you just gotta indulge. But in the same breath, you gotta have restraint and self-control too. So I think everything within moderation, but for the most part I’m gonna say go with your gut and your instincts. Go with your initial thought because you’re usually right.
Q: Would you say that this new scent, Gold Temptation, is now your favorite AXE scent?
Jordan: I’m gonna go out and say that this is my favorite one. I liked Dark Temptation, that was good. But this is the evolution of it, you know. Gold Temptation it’s like that next step. I like it a lot.
Q: With “Fantastic Four,” your name was rumored for the part of Johnny Storm for probably since the movie was first announced. How much of a relief was it to actually be able to talk about the role when the cast was announced?
Jordan: Oh man! A huge relief. It was like…walking around knowing that for like a year since me and Josh Trank, we talked about this when he first got the job. It’s something that we tried to make happen. We knew we had a lot of obstacles in the way and a lot of mountains to move but, you know, for whatever reason things just fell into place and … Fox believed in the situation and believed in me and yeah, we got it done. So that’s definitely something that me and Josh celebrated at the wrap. We were just like we did it.
Q: When you said “for about a year” does that mean you were cast in the role about a year ago but nothing could be said?
Jordan: Not cast, but me and Josh … I was his choice. He wanted me to play the role and I wanted to play the role. So it was something that he told me around his birthday about a year and some change ago, right after “Chronicle.” And it was just like cool…let’s try to make this happen.
Q: Can you talk a bit about the experience of playing Johnny Storm?
Jordan: Yeah man it’s been a lot of fun. Johnny Storm is such an iconic character. There’s a lot of personality traits and things to him that people are really going to look forward to seeing. Got a lot of original Johnny stuff in there and then you have – not a NEW take but a fresh take. We have a different take on different things as well. I could go on and on about it but I think it’s something that people will enjoy.
Q: I’m pretty excited about that. Obviously there were a couple of “Fantastic Four” movies released within a span of 10-15 years ago. Did you use anything from Chris Evans’ previous performances to kind of help develop your character at all?
Jordan: Nah. It is a reboot you know, it’s its own thing. It’s its own origins story. I did get a chance to talk to Chris about it, I met him at this event and he was basically like, “Man I can’t give you anything.” He said, “You’re great, you’re awesome. Just do your thing. And enjoy it. It’s gonna be fun.” That was just a really cool piece of information, words of encouragement from the guy who killed the role. He really did a really great job and hats off to him with how talented he is cause he’s doing an amazing job with “Captain America.” I really enjoy those films as well so that’s kind of pretty much where that was.
Q: So I take it that after being Johnny Storm we could expect you to take on the Captain America role within the next 10 years.
Jordan: You know they just made “Captain America” Sam Wilson!
Q: Yeah, yeah!
Jordan: That’s funny. But I think Chris has got Captain America locked up. The role is in good hands.
Q: Definitely. And plus, if anything does happen there’s a Sam WIlson right around the corner with Anthony Mackie.
Jordan: That’s what I’m saying! Just in case, we got that back up.
Q: So one last thing, what’s coming up next for you?
Jordan: “Creed,” Creed’s another one. And also I’m just looking forward to doing these videos with AXE. Doing more directing, collaborating with them, finding ways to kind of like tap into temptation with their market and their audience and mine and find cool, creative ways to get the brand out to people. And I think they’re doing a really, really good job. So we’ve got some cool stuff coming up. You guys should enjoy it.
Q: You did just say Creed right? The Apollo Creed movie?
Jordan: Ha, yeah. You can’t just speed past it. Yeah, it’s Creed.
Q: Is that definitely happening?
Jordan: Yeah. That’s definitely happening, for sure.
Q: That’s awesome, I’m definitely excited for that one.
Jordan: Yeah I’m not going to let you guys down. I know that there’s a lot of Rocky fans out there and I’m one of them. So from one fan to another I’m gonna make sure we do a good job with this. Sly’s not gonna let anything happen to his baby.
Q: I have faith in you man, I’m pumped for it.
Jordan: Thank you!