Michael B. Jordan's Erik Killmonger in Black Panther quickly became a standout villain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe thanks to his captivating on-screen presence and justifiable motivations. Fully embracing such an intense character left lasting effects on Jordan, however, as he recently admitted it took him nearly a month and therapy to leave the character behind.
"It was one of those things that I didn't know what was going on," Jordan shared with The Bill Simmons Podcast. "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.'"
In the film, Killmonger aims to overthrow T'Challa as the King of Wakanda, revealing that he hails from the nation and hopes to use the nation's resources to seek justice against their oppressors all over the world. So many viewers connected with Killmonger's motivations that the #KillmongerWasRight hashtag spread all across social media.
While viewers might have empathized with his motivations, Jordan admitted that embodying the Killmonger persona wasn't an enjoyable experience.
"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."
Jordan detailed that by receiving professional help sorting through his emotions, he finally began feeling like himself again, allowing him to feel present with those closest to him.
"Not just being in the room, but being present and engaging," Jordan noted. "And just talking things out that I never really kind of talked through."
Between films like Creed and Fruitvale Station, the actor is used to playing characters who audiences root for, with his first turn as a villain clearly taking a toll on his own identity.
"I was just doing what I felt was right," Jordan detailed of his process. "Whatever got me emotionally to the place I needed to be, that's what I did."
While the film's finale saw Killmonger's demise, the popularity of the character could mean the character finds a way back to the MCU, which might require Jordan revisit that dark place.
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