Have you seen “Creed” yet? If not take a break from your holiday shopping and party planning (and all things “Star Wars”) and check it out. Not only is the movie itself inspiring, but actor Michael B. Jordan’s personal preparation might give you some motivation as New Year’s resolutions time grows near.
We got a moment with Jordan recently when he, his co-star Tessa Thompson and writer-director Ryan Coogler visited Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta.
How many of the punishing scenes were handled by a stunt double, we asked. Answer: None.
“Diet is a big part of it,” Jordan said, referring to how he achieved his Adonis-like physique to play Adonis Johnson Creed, son of the late, great Apollo Creed.
Jordan’s character races street bikes on foot, jumps rope moving so fast the rope seems like a blade, chases chickens at one point (for real! it’s hilarious) and of course gets pummeled in the ring.
For a year, Jordan worked out six days a week for at least two hours at a time, and paid close attention to what he ate. The Creed diet: “A lot of grilled chicken, brown rice and vegetables,” he said. “I’d mix it up with fish. And a gallon and a half of water a day.”
He’d wake up extra early on his “cheat days” to enjoy as much pizza and pasta as he could.
Jordan’s extreme method-acting technique telegraphs his affinity for the role.
“It was definitely an honor to step into that world that everyone loves,” he said. “There was a certain pressure and expectation to do a good job.”
While Jordan’s character does the punching in “Creed,” Tessa Thompson’s has a different kind of strength.
“Bianca is a person who has a fierce sense of identity and self and is unapologetic,” she said. “The way that she does one thing is the way she does all things, with a sense of self-assuredness.”
Her character faces a hurdle she doesn’t reveal at first.
“It’s the deck of cards she was handed. She’s had time to prepare,” Thompson said. “She’s going to do what she loves as long as she can.”
It’s great to see Sylvester Stallone reprise his most famous role – for which he recently earned a Golden Globes nomination – and writer/director Ryan Coogler’s script takes creative, touching turns, working in vintage clips and a sample of the famous “Rocky” soundtrack at just the right moments.
“The most modern aspect is the love story,” Coogler said. “We were very interested in showing what a relationship looks like in 2015.”