One actor admits that while he filmed Black Panther (2018), he had to push away his family to feel what life with no love would be.
Marvel is meant for families. Kids are inspired by heroes like Captain America or Iron Man, while villains such as Thanos are the villains that have to be stopped. Sometimes, Marvel creates villains like Zemo or Killmonger, who are not entirely evil. They are human, and fans can empathize without being inspired to be like them.
In Ryan Coogler’s first entry into the MCU with Wakanda, Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa faces his long-lost cousin, Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan). T’Chaka killed Killmonger’s father, leaving the boy without a father or connection to his people. Out of this, Killmonger has a lot of hate and rage for the injustice done to people of color.
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Wakanda stays silent and holds their vibranium in secret and doesn’t give out any aid at the start of the movie. Jordan reveals that his role was so extreme it took a lot of strength from him and required him to make drastic changes. In an interview with Variety, Jordan reveals that the hate Killmonger feels is so potent he didn’t want to see his kids or family while filming:
“Killmonger allowed me to access the pain. And the unapologetic frustration that I had, but then, obviously, there’s a sadness that comes along with that. I dove into that for a lot longer than I ever had before. So coming out of that [role] it was hard to want love. Because during shooting I kept myself from family and children, and away from everything that Killmonger never had.”
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Jordan also admitted to Oprah Winfrey’s “SuperSoul Conversations” interview that he needed therapy after his performance due to his desire to be alone and not wanting to be in a world that cared about him:
“It was a little tough for me at first. Readjusting to people caring about me, getting that love that I shut out. I shut out love, I didn’t want love. I wanted to be in this lonely place as long as I could.”
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Jordan did reprise his role for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022) as Killmonger. Leticia Wright’s Shuri meets Killmonger after taking the heart-shaped herb, which forces her to realize where her pain and rage lead her. Black Panther 2 did the impossible by continuing the story without Chadwick Boseman. Black Panther will always remain a fan-favorite due to the chemistry between Boseman and Jordan and how the movie handled tough subjects about race and oppression for Wakanda and the rest of the world.
Due to Killmonger’s role in the MCU being cut short, fans were devastated that he couldn’t return for another sequel, but it seems that Marvel has plans to bring Killmonger into other projects such as What If?…. with another universe including a story where Killmonger saves Tony Stark.
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It does seem odd that the actor needed that much time spent away from family, and it does make sense why the actor needed therapy afterward. Fans have already questioned the ridiculous nature of some method actors put themselves through for a project, and it seems Jordan does have a reasonable method for why to keep his family away. Still, his children probably missed their father so much while he was filming.
Do you think Jordan should have left his family alone while filming Black Panther? Let us know what you think!