Heath Ledger set the benchmark for actor’s playing supervillains when he immersed himself in the role of the Joker in 2008’s The Dark Knight.
So it’s little surprise that Michael B. Jordan has revealed the late actor and his critically acclaimed penultimate performance was an inspiration for him going into the filming of Marvel’s Black Panther.
The 30-year-old Creed actor has revealed that taking on the mantle of Erik Killmonger made him go to a ‘dark place’, and that the role stayed with him for a long time after shooting had wrapped.
Speaking about his role in the much-hyped next MCU instalment, the rising Hollywood star revealed the impact of playing Killmonger on his psyche, telling Empire magazine:
‘It took me to a dark place. Honestly, I can’t really go through all I went through to get into it because I want to keep that close to me.
‘But it stuck with me afterwards.’
Elaborating on the influences behind his villainous role, Michael said he’d studied both Heath and Michael Fassbender’s superhero roles (Fassbender appears as Magneto in the the rebooted X-Men film franchise).
He said: ‘You see performances as an actor and as a fan, you look at Heath Ledger’s performance in say, The Dark Knight, and it’s like, “Wow”. I want to try to get something like that. You want Michael Fassbender’s Magneto.’
It’s something that seems to have stuck with the actor, as Michael explained that it wasn’t about equalling those performances, but just ‘trying to find my place amongst those roles’.
With that said the role has been a revelation for the star, as he added it had been a chance for him to go as far away as possible from who he really is.
Though he adds that Killmonger isn’t a caricature, but an evil entity that people can really related to, as you can ‘understand’ where the character’s actions come from.
Black Panther hits cinemas in the UK on February 12.
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