Michael B. Jordan, the middle of three children, was born in Santa Ana, California and raised in Newark, New Jersey. He is the son of Donna (Davis), a high school counselor, and Michael A. Jordan. His middle name, Bakari, means “noble promise” in Swahili. (He is not related to, or named after, basketball legend Michael Jordan.)
Jordan has starred in three of the most critically acclaimed television dramas of the past decade. First, Jordan played the hard-shelled but softhearted Wallace in HBO’s dramatic hit series The Wire (2002). He then went on to star as quarterback Vince Howard on Friday Night Lights (2006) (NBC), before playing a recovering alcoholic, Alex, on NBC’s Parenthood (2010).
Jordan successfully took on his first major leading film role when he starred as Oscar Grant in Last Stop Fruitvale Station (2013). The film is an account of Oscar’s controversial slaying by police officers on a San Francisco train platform. The cast includes Octavia Spencer and Melonie Diaz, and was produced by Forest Whitaker (Significant Films). It premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival where it received the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award for U.S. Dramatic Film. It also screened at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard category. The has garnered many awards including Best First Feature at the 2014 Independent Spirit Awards, Outstanding Independent Motion Picture at the 2014 NAACP Image Awards and the 2014 Stanley Kramer Award from the Producer’s Guild of America. The 2013 New York Film Critics Circle honored it with Best First Film and the picture was also chosen as one of the Top Ten Films at the 2013 National Board of Review Awards, where Jordan took home the award for Breakthrough Actor. Jordan also won the 2013 Gotham Award for Breakthrough Actor and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Lead Actor.
In 2015, Jordan starred in Josh Trank‘s Fantastic Four (2015), playing the role of ‘Johnny Storm’ aka ‘The Human Torch’, opposite Miles Teller, Jamie Bell, and Kate Mara for 20th Century Fox. The film was released on August 7th 2015. Jordan previously starred in 20th Century Fox’s box office hit Chronicle (2012) (which was also directed by Trank), a supernatural thriller that follows three Portland teens (MBJ, Dane Dehaan, and Alex Russell) as they develop incredible powers after exposure to a mysterious substance; That Awkward Moment (2015) opposite Zac Efron and Miles Teller for Focus Films; and the George Lucas produced film Red Tails (2012), the story of the first African American pilots to fly in a combat squadron during WWII aka The Tuskegee Airmen.
Jordan reunited with Ryan Coogler for Creed (2015), starring alongside Sylvester Stallone and Tessa Thompson. The film was released on Thanksgiving 2015 by MGM and Warner Brothers. A devoted fan of comic books growing up, Jordan starred as the villain, Eric Killmonger, in the 2018 box office smash Black Panther (2018). In 2018, he is also starring as Guy Montag in the HBO adaptation of Ray Bradbury‘s science fiction classic Fahrenheit 451 (2018).
He resides in Los Angeles, where he supports the charity Lupus LA.