Michael B. Jordan is about to become a household name. No, not that Michael Jordan — we're talking about the 26-year-old actor best known for his supporting roles in "The Wire", "Friday Night Lights", and "Chronicle". However, his latest project has catapulted him to top-billing status and is already getting those Oscar bees buzzing.
"Fruitvale Station" chronicles the real-life story of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old Bay Area black man who was shot and killed by a white police officer on New Year's Eve in 2009. But rather than replaying the incident itself — which was captured on video by onlookers — the movie takes a close look at the last 24 hours of Grant's life and the events leading up to the shooting. What results is a sensitive and compelling narrative that will undoubtedly resonate with audiences for its powerful themes and superb performances. The film is especially relevant in light of recent events, as it touches on the issues of race, violence and the criminal justice system.
Jordan sat down with MTV News' Josh Horowitz to discuss why he felt a responsibility to take on this challenging role.
"I remember when [the shooting of Oscar Grant] happened," he said. "I remember watching it and feeling all types of emotions — upset, angry, frustrated, helpless. I felt like I wanted to do something to help… I just felt a certain responsibility to play it."
He also acknowledged the pressure of portraying a real person on camera. "A family's opinion really matters," he said. "[Oscar's] daughter's gonna watch this one day. They care so much about this guy, and you just don’t want to let them down either... It was definitely a process, and it's new to me."
Well, he's definitely not a newbie anymore.
Watch Jordan's full interview above and check out "Fruitvale Station" in theaters July 12.