Denzel Washington is unquestionably one of the greatest actors in history, scooping two Academy Award wins from nine nominations and consistently proving himself as one of the industry’s most reliable box office draws, one that’s just as comfortable and capable in prestige drama as he is in action thrillers.
He’s also no slouch behind the camera, and his next directorial effort A Journal for Jordan is coming to theaters on December 10, where it could be in with a chance of some awards season recognition. Any rising talent would be wise to sit at the Denzel learning tree, and Michael B. Jordan didn’t miss his opportunity.
The Black Panther star plays the lead role in A Journal for Jordan, but he’s also gearing up to make his directorial debut on Creed III, which is expected to start shooting next month. In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, the 34 year-old admitted he was picking Washington’s brains any chance he could get.
“I think just asking him a sh*t ton of questions, and observing how he runs a set, how he communicates with department heads, and just the process of what to look for and what to expect on a day-to-day grind. So it was definitely the right project for me to do right before Creed III, for sure. Being directed by Denzel, it’s like you had a master class at everything. He shows up every day to work to give it his all.
He leaves with nothing in the tank, so you’ve got to match that energy and that drive. So it definitely pushed me to do more. That was an incredible experience. Character development, breaking down characters, just getting to the micro of everything, being as specific as possible. It raised my game in a lot of ways, so I’m extremely grateful for that process.”
Having never helmed a feature before, it was a fortunate stroke of luck and coincidence for Jordan that his most recent project saw him working with an all-time great actor who made a seamless transition into wielding the megaphone, and he’ll be taking all of his newfound knowledge onto the set of Creed III.