Michael B. Jordan may have at one point wanted to be Black Panther, but his turn as Killmonger in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was nothing short of amazing. The actor's performance as the ambitious and calculated villain is arguably one of the best in the MCU and now, Jordan has revealed part of how he got into the character -- by keeping a diary.
Jordan stopped by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Tuesday and explained to the late-night host how he was able to get the feel for Killmonger by keeping what he called a "dark" diary of the villain's life from his childhood all the way through until we meet him on screen in Black Panther.
"I have journals, or diaries, or whatever, for every character that I have, from the earliest memory up until the first page of the script," Jordan explained. "And for me, it just kind of gives you context."
Jordan went on to explain that he keeps journals for his other roles as well, including Creed's Adonis Creed and Fantastic Four's Human Torch, but when it came to the content of Killmonger's journal, they were very sad and not something that was safe for television.
"Not having his mom growing up, in and out of the system, foster care, foster homes and whatnot," he said. "It's a lot of dark stuff that's probably not right for television. But it was deep, and it allowed me to kind of go to that place right before a scene. It allowed me to lock in."
The idea of actors keeping character journals is something many actors do to prepare for their roles, but with Jordan it's an interesting bit of information because of another actor from a comic book movie -- the late Heath Ledger. Ledger, who played The Joker in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight, told Empire back in 2007 that he also used a diary to help him work out his characterization of The Joker. It's something the actor got right -- he posthumously won an Academy Award for the role -- and it's a performance that Jordan himself drew inspiration from when approaching Killmonger.
"You see performances as an actor, and as a fan -- you look at Heath Ledger's performance, say, in The Dark Knight, and it's like, 'Wow,'" Jordan told Empire late last year. "I want to try to get something like that. You want Michael Fassbender's Magneto. Just trying to make my place amongst those roles, and strive for that, even if I don't make it."
Jordan's efforts paid off. His Killmonger has been named the best villain in the MCU by many fans and critics alike and Black Panther itself broke numerous box office records. Jordan definitely made it.
Black Panther is now available on Digital HD, 4K Ultra HD, and Movies Anywhere. The 4K Ultra HD, Blue-ray, DVD and On-Demand versions will be available May 15.
Black Panther is also still playing in theaters along with Avengers: Infinity War. It will be followed by Ant-Man and the Wasp on July 6, 2018, Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019, the fourth Avengers movie on May 3, 2019, the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming on July 5, 2019, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in 2020.