Black Panther’s Michael B. Jordan Saw A Therapist After Playing Killmonger

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The MCU isn’t generally known for its memorable villains, but 2018 saw Marvel Studios deliver a pair of antagonists who proved unusually resonant with audiences, and in the case of Erik Killmonger in Black Panther, also left a lasting impression on the man who played him.

On The Bill Simmons Podcast, Michael B. Jordan shared some very personal memories of the journey that followed after featuring in Ryan Coogler’s acclaimed blockbuster. The star of the new Creed II recalled how his initial assumption that he could comfortably leave the character of Killmonger in the past was wrong, saying:

“It was one of those things that I didn’t know what was going on,” Jordan explained. “I never was in a character for that long of a period of time and was, I guess, that dark, that lonely, that painful. So coming out of it, I thought, ‘Oh yeah, business as usual. I can just go back home, I’ll cut my hair off, and everything will be back to normal.’”

Unfortunately, going to this dark place in order to inhabit the role of T’Challa’s first major foe left a lasting impression on Jordan.

“I found myself kind of in the routine of being isolated and went out of my way to make sure I was by myself and didn’t say too much more than the usual,” the actor continued. “Once I got finished wrapping the movie, it took me some time to talk through how I was feeling and why I was feeling so sad and like a little bit depressed.”

After seeking professional help, the star eventually found himself emerging from his emotionally isolated state and feeling more connected with those around him.

“Not just being in the room, but being present and engaging,” Jordan said. “And just talking things out that I never really kind of talked through.”

From the sound of things, Jordan was dangerously immersed in his role, and he’s not the only person who found themselves connecting with the villain on an emotional level, with Killmonger earning a level of viewer sympathy rarely offered to MCU antagonists.

Despite the character’s popularity, there’s a good chance that Erik will be another of Marvel’s one-movie villains, despite the odd fan theory making the rounds that argues otherwise. Nonetheless, the studio has already confirmed that at least one more trip to Wakanda is on the cards, with Coogler returning to the helm for a second Black Panther. As it stands, it’ll probably be a long wait before that sequel ever sees the light of day, but in the meantime, awards season is just getting started for T’Challa’s first standalone film.

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