While acting may be a relatively cushy job compared to many others out there, there’s no denying that it has its own set of hazards that comes with it. There are more talents out there than we can count who were ruined by the roles they sought to bring to life. Of course, Leonardo DiCaprio went to ridiculous lengths to bring his performance in The Revenant to life, and Heath Ledger passed not too long after he brought the Joker to the big screen in The Dark Knight.
Now, it looks like we have another comic book actor who was deeply affected by his onscreen persona. Speaking with Oprah Winfrey while taping her SuperSoul Conversations special (via Yahoo), Michael B. Jordan opened up about seeking out therapy following his role in Black Panther as the angry and violent Killmonger.
“I went to therapy, I started talking to people, starting unpacking a little bit.”
But what exactly had he done in order to warrant said therapy. Well, in order to engage with the character’s mindset, he felt the isolate himself.
“I was by myself, isolating myself. I spent a lot of time alone. I figured Erik [Killmonger], his childhood growing up was pretty lonely. He didn’t have a lot of people he could talk to about this place called Wakanda that didn’t exist.”
“Of course it’s an extreme, exaggerated version of the African diaspora from the African-American perspective, so to be able to take that kind of pain and rage and all those emotions that Erik kind of represents from being black and brown here in America … that was something I didn’t take lightly.”
“It was a little tough for me at first. Readjusting to people caring about me, getting that love that I shut out. I shut out love, I didn’t want love. I wanted to be in this lonely place as long as I could.”
While it’s not exactly as ridiculous on paper as stuff some other actors have done, getting in the habit of shutting one’s self out emotionally is no minor feat. It’s something that has the potential to really destroy relationships and ultimately turn a person into a ticking time bomb of distress. I, for one, am happy Jordan recognized this for himself and sought the help he needed.
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