Laughter is the Best Medicine

Michael B. Jordan on Jamie Foxx, Kobe Bryant & Just Mercy

tell you something? MICHAEL B. JORDAN: What’s up? JIMMY KIMMEL: So all
week, I say, and you know, coming up on Thursday, Michael
B. Jordan will be here. And every time I’ve said it,
all the women in the audience, each night, have s– [CHEERS] They did that, yeah. They did that. MICHAEL B. JORDAN:
That’s pretty cool. [LAUGHS] JIMMY KIMMEL: I
think you might be the front runner for
sexiest man alive this year. MICHAEL B. JORDAN:
You know, eh, man. [CHEERS] Somebody write in somebody. I love this. JIMMY KIMMEL: Yeah,
well, they love you. I mean, they really do. It’s good to see you. This must be an
exciting time for you, because not only are you
the star of this movie, you’re a producer of the movie.
really put this movie together, and it opens
everywhere tomorrow. MICHAEL B. JORDAN:
Everywhere tomorrow, man. I’m really excited about it. I mean, I found
out about the story about five years ago
about Bryan Stevenson, and I was a little
embarrassed that I didn’t know that much about him. So I got a chance to listen to
his Ted talk and hear him speak and realized all the important
work that he was doing. And it was– you know,
I was shocked that he wasn’t a household name, so– JIMMY KIMMEL: Well, tell
everybody a little bit about him because
I think most people don’t know Bryan Stevenson. MICHAEL B. JORDAN:
Well, Bryan Stevenson is a defense attorney. He set up his office as
EJI, which is the Equal Justice Initiative, and he– down in Montgomery, Alabama. And he pretty much dedicated
his entire life to equal justice and fighting the
criminal justice system. Basically he gets exonerated–
he exonerates wrongfully convicted felons that are on– people that are on death row. JIMMY KIMMEL: Yeah, well– yeah, they’re technically
felons, but not. MICHAEL B. JORDAN: They’re
technically felons, but they’ve been
wrongfully convicted. And he’s dedicated the life to
getting them off of death row. And I had the honor of
being able to play him. Jamie Foxx plays
Walter McMillan, that the movie’s based around. And yeah, I felt there was a– I don’t know, it’s
my responsibility to kind of take on this role. JIMMY KIMMEL: Did
you feel like it really spoke to you
when you heard his story and heard about it? MICHAEL B. JORDAN: Yeah, I mean,
I felt like– well, listen, this thing happened
30-some-odd years ago, but it feels like it
could’ve happened yesterday. JIMMY KIMMEL: Have you ever
played a living person before? MICHAEL B. JORDAN: A
living person before? No. JIMMY KIMMEL: So that’s,
like, you must be nervous when you show them the movie,
him the movie the first time? MICHAEL B. JORDAN: Well, yeah.
I mean, I’ve had the– I played Oscar Grant
in “Fruitvale Station.” JIMMY KIMMEL: Yeah, but– MICHAEL B. JORDAN: But you know,
he was tragically murdered. But I got a chance to get to
know him through the people that knew him the best. I had a chance to
watch the movie with his mom for the first
time, and his family members. JIMMY KIMMEL: Right. MICHAEL B. JORDAN:
And that was– that was pretty nerve-racking. JIMMY KIMMEL:
That’s heavy, yeah. MICHAEL B. JORDAN:
In this situation, being able to play Brian,
you know, he’s there. He’s a resource.
I can call him. I can ask him for
help if I get– you know, if I get stuck anywhere.
Or if I need to, you know, look to him for
motivation for things. But then, also, he
can call me and tell me when I’m messing up, too.
No, he didn’t. JIMMY KIMMEL: OK, good. MICHAEL B. JORDAN:
He was actually– he was really supportive. He was actually excited
that I played him. [INAUDIBLE]
JIMMY KIMMEL: Yeah, I’m sure. I mean, women scream
when they see you. Why wouldn’t he be
excited about that? MICHAEL B. JORDAN: He wanted
me to keep the Creed body, but, you know–
I kept the arms. I kept the arms. JIMMY KIMMEL: You’ve
been holding screenings– special screenings– this week. And one of them was
hosted by Kobe Bryant. MICHAEL B. JORDAN:
Kobe Bryant, yeah. JIMMY KIMMEL: How
did that happen? MICHAEL B. JORDAN:
No, it was incredible. I think Warner Brothers
had reached out to him. He’s a– you know, he’s a
big advocate for, you know, criminal justice and just
equal rights in general. So he came on board. You know, he agreed to
host a couple of screenings down in Baldwin Hills. And it was– it was amazing.
All my friends came up. JIMMY KIMMEL: Did you
know him beforehand? MICHAEL B. JORDAN:
Yeah, I got a chance– I did a Apple commercial
with him a few years back– JIMMY KIMMEL: Oh, OK. MICHAEL B. JORDAN: –where
I played the young Kobe. And that was pretty
cool and interesting. JIMMY KIMMEL: Yeah. MICHAEL B. JORDAN:
But he’s the GOAT. You know, he’s one of
the greatest of all time. So to be able to
kind of talk to him and, like, spit
basketball and stuff like that was pretty cool. JIMMY KIMMEL: Are
you a Lakers fan? MICHAEL B. JORDAN:
I’m a Knicks fan. JIMMY KIMMEL: A Knicks fan?
OK. MICHAEL B. JORDAN: Pray for me.
Pray for me. JIMMY KIMMEL: So you don’t– MICHAEL B. JORDAN: Pray
for me, yes, pray for me. It’s been tough. JIMMY KIMMEL: You’ve never
tasted any kind of success, really, ever in your whole
life as a fan, have you? MICHAEL B. JORDAN:
No, it’s been rough. JIMMY KIMMEL: Yeah. MICHAEL B. JORDAN:
But I’m a LeBron fan. JIMMY KIMMEL: Oh,
you’re a LeBron fan? MICHAEL B. JORDAN:
I’m a LeBron fan. JIMMY KIMMEL: Do you
know LeBron as well? MICHAEL B. JORDAN:
I do know LeBron. JIMMY KIMMEL: You had a
screening for the Lakers, right?
MICHAEL B. JORDAN: I did. I had a screening
for the Lakers. But also, I had a chance to
take about 20 incarcerated youth down to the Lakers
practice facility and get a chance to have
them talk to Ron Artest, to Robert Horry, to
the Lakers players. They played five on five. Some of the Lakers got
a chance to coach ’em, and stuff like that. So it was really
incredible to get them– give ’em a chance,
an opportunity to get outside of jail
and be around their idols, people that they look up to, to
kind of encourage them to kind of go down this right path. JIMMY KIMMEL: And then everyone
sat down and watched the movie? MICHAEL B. JORDAN: They did. They sat down and watched the
movie at a different time. But this– I had an
opportunity to do the genius talk with the
Lakers and stuff like that. So it was really, really
a cool experience. JIMMY KIMMEL: I wonder how,
when a basketball team watches a movie, they situate everyone. Because, like, you don’t want
Anthony Davis in the front. MICHAEL B. JORDAN:
They have huge chairs. JIMMY KIMMEL: I know, they do. MICHAEL B. JORDAN: But
everything is like– just, like, just giant-sized.
Everything’s oversized. The doorways, you’re
like, oh, wow. OK, cool. I guess JaVale McGee and Dwight
Howard does have to, like, come through here.
So it’s pretty cool. JIMMY KIMMEL: Didn’t
you– you just went back to your high school
recently, right? MICHAEL B. JORDAN: I did, I did. JIMMY KIMMEL: When you
went back to the height at your high school which
is New Jersey you did everything seem small to you? MICHAEL B. JORDAN: No.
It didn’t? Oh, high school, I guess,
that doesn’t really happen. JIMMY KIMMEL: No, no, no. Yeah, I was probably the same
height as I was in high school. MICHAEL B. JORDAN: [LAUGHS]
JIMMY KIMMEL: Pretty sure. But no, but it was
cool to go back and actually talk to the kids.
You know, honestly, just– MICHAEL B. JORDAN: Did they
freak out when you came? JIMMY KIMMEL: They did.
had a photo shoot there first. And they tried to keep
it as quiet as possible. But when you see,
you know, people– you know, the kids
coming from the lunchroom and peeking into the gym,
and then, by the time, you know, fifth period hit,
it was just all-out mayhem. MICHAEL B. JORDAN:
I would think so. JIMMY KIMMEL: So yeah,
it was pretty crazy. MICHAEL B. JORDAN: Did you
see any of your old teachers? Are any of them still there?
JIMMY KIMMEL: I did. A lot of them were still there. A lot of them– some
of my old teachers– well, one of my teachers
is now the principal. You know, the lunch ladies
are still there, the security guards, the janitors. Like, it was pretty
surreal to come back and see all those faces,
but it was a lot of love. MICHAEL B. JORDAN: Did you
play basketball in high school? JIMMY KIMMEL: I did. MICHAEL B. JORDAN: Did you
play football in high school? JIMMY KIMMEL: I did not.
basketball, baseball, track. I did everything except
for football, actually. JIMMY KIMMEL: You played
high school football on “Friday Night Lights.” MICHAEL B. JORDAN: That counts.
like, a bigger audience. MICHAEL B. JORDAN:
As a 20-year-old. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m a
20-year-old playing high school football. JIMMY KIMMEL: That’s the
first time to play high school football, when you hit 20. You can really excel. [LAUGHTER]
Well, we’re gonna take a break. We’re gonna come
back, and we’re gonna see a clip from the new
movie, “Just Mercy.” MICHAEL B. JORDAN: “Just Mercy.” JIMMY KIMMEL: Michael
B. Jordan is here. We’ll be right back. BRYAN STEVENSON: You
can’t keep an innocent man in prison while you try to
salvage your reputation. MAN: This is about the
people of this county who have hired me to keep ’em safe. BRYAN STEVENSON:
And what people are you talking about right now? The ones from this
neighborhood, or the ones from the black community
you took Johnny D. From? You think they feel safe? Your job isn’t to defend
a conviction, Tommy. It’s to achieve justice. And as long as you keep fighting
this, someone from your county has literally gotten
away with murder. JIMMY KIMMEL: That is Michael
B. Jordan of “Just Mercy,” the critically-acclaimed
performance in the critically-acclaimed
movie that you produced. Now, Jamie Foxx
is in this movie. Brie Larson is in the movie. MICHAEL B. JORDAN: Yes. JIMMY KIMMEL: Did you personally
recruit them to be in the film? MICHAEL B. JORDAN: I– in this case, I did. I– when I read the script–
and we’ve been developing it for about, you know, four or five
years or so, the only person I kept mind was Jamie. I was like, this guy, this
is the vehicle for him. You know, he’s on
my Mount Rushmore of the greatest of all time. And I think he’s so–
he’s so talented. Like, this is an opportunity– JIMMY KIMMEL: He might be
the most talented person I have ever met in my life.
MICHAEL B. JORDAN: From– from, he does everything.
know, from singing, to writing, to, you know,
the stand-up comedian– JIMMY KIMMEL: Math. MICHAEL B. JORDAN: Drama,
math, math– great at math. JIMMY KIMMEL: You name it, yeah.
He’s great at tennis. No, man, he’s– you know,
he’s an incredible person. But I got a chance
to give him a call and was like, hey, man,
I need you to do this. And he said– JIMMY KIMMEL: And he gave
a very good performance. MICHAEL B. JORDAN: Yes. JIMMY KIMMEL: Very,
like, a low-key, solid– MICHAEL B. JORDAN:
He’s a chameleon. He blends into wherever
he needs to blend into. JIMMY KIMMEL: So
speaking of that– MICHAEL B. JORDAN: Mm-hmm? JIMMY KIMMEL: So I’ve worked
with Jamie a number of times. And like, even when he’s on
this show, like, there is no– there’s not a moment in
which he’s not making fun, where he’s not, like, doing
something to– and even during the commercials, he’s
out in the audience dancing, and singing, and everybody’s
having a good time. MICHAEL B. JORDAN: Yeah. JIMMY KIMMEL: So in a movie
like this which is, you know, a serious film, is
that the way he is? MICHAEL B. JORDAN: He
is exactly like that. JIMMY KIMMEL: He is? MICHAEL B. JORDAN:
I mean, literally, we would have the most
dramatic scenes ever and then literally yell, cut. He’ll take a deep
breath, and then he’ll be right out there
with the extras telling jokes or playing music. He plays music a lot. Like, he has theme music
no matter where he goes. It’s incredible. JIMMY KIMMEL: So
even on this movie– MICHAEL B. JORDAN:
He– but you know, he did it in such a genius way. Like, he would play songs to
get us in the mood of– like, a really somber mood. Like he would play,
like, old-school music to really get us into a– like, a really,
like, serious tone. But then, when it was– when he was ready
to switch the tone and we were getting out of it,
he would play, like, you know, some Marvin Gaye
or, like, you know, the Isley Brothers,
or The Temptations, or something like that. JIMMY KIMMEL: So he was
actually– he was like– MICHAEL B. JORDAN: He was
curating the vibe, 24/7. JIMMY KIMMEL: –warming
things up, yeah. MICHAEL B. JORDAN: He was. He was the perfect person
for this– for [INAUDIBLE].. JIMMY KIMMEL: I see. And here’s the picture, the
three of you guys together. MICHAEL B. JORDAN: Mamba. JIMMY KIMMEL: Do
you think you’re Kobe’s favorite Michael Jordan? MICHAEL B. JORDAN: I think– that’s a great question. I mean, yeah. JIMMY KIMMEL: Yeah, right? MICHAEL B. JORDAN:
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
JIMMY KIMMEL: If he had to pick? MICHAEL B. JORDAN: Yeah. No, yeah, hands
down, hands down. [LAUGHTER] JIMMY KIMMEL: So
tomorrow’s the big day? MICHAEL B. JORDAN: Tomorrow
is the big day, man. JIMMY KIMMEL: Will you go
around and check out screenings? Will you pop into movie
theaters to see how it’s going? MICHAEL B. JORDAN: I might
pop into a theater or two. I might recruit
Jamie, you know what I’m saying, to go pop around
and surprise some theaters. So you never know. JIMMY KIMMEL: Do you have any
particular locations in mind? MICHAEL B. JORDAN: I’m
gonna throw out a couple. I’m gonna throw out,
like, ArcLight Hollywood. JIMMY KIMMEL: Uh-huh. MICHAEL B. JORDAN: I’ll
throw out, you know, maybe a Grove, Magic Johnson’s
theater, maybe, somewhere. And then you guys can
just figure it out. JIMMY KIMMEL: All right,
well, that will be fun. MICHAEL B. JORDAN: Yeah.
[LAUGHTER] JIMMY KIMMEL: there are gonna
be a lot of disappointed people if you are not there. MICHAEL B. JORDAN:
There’s gonna be a lot of disappointed people. But just, I will be on the
screen, no matter what. JIMMY KIMMEL:
One way or another, I will be on the screen. JIMMY KIMMEL: Michael
B. Jordan, everybody. His movie’s called “Just Mercy.”
[CHEERS, APPLAUSE] It opens tomorrow. We’ll be right back.

100 thoughts on “Michael B. Jordan on Jamie Foxx, Kobe Bryant & Just Mercy

  1. The movie premise just shows how unjust, uncompassionate and downright evil Institutional racism is. Because this was not before or in the 60s, this was the 80s. Just pathetic, makes me sick. Huge Kudos to MB Jordan and Jamie Foxx for their fantastic performances.

  2. His interviews for this movie are popping up everywhere. I've watch the one on Ellen, Jamie Fox, and now Kimmel… I very much enjoy him and all 3 of those interviews were great!!!

  3. He should play Michael Jordan… I mean, he looks nothing like him, but… c'mon.. that name was made for that movie poster.

  4. That's awesome he brought those youths to meet the basketball players. Some of those players came from rough backgrounds and can give them legit advice. Sometimes all it takes is someone to sit and speak with you and it can really change people's lives in a positive manner.

  5. The fact that it's 400 years later and equal rights is still a problem shows how little America has really grown. It's sad.

  6. Women are so thirsty for men its crazy imagine if a girl came up and men just scream all the time she opened her mouth its annoying let the man speak

  7. Kobe> Michael B Jordan. All his fans were right when they said Kobe was better than Michael Jordan they just got the wrong guy.

  8. God gave mom and dad a gift and they molded this beautiful spirit who is so humble down to earth personable and intelligent

  9. Dis dude is like kind of lay back dude. He can kick it with the richest and he can kick it with the poorest. It’s not showing off dude👍🏻 respect👊🏻

  10. No hate. Im straight but whats different or awsome about this guy. Hes a regular black guy. I can say 5 or 8 famous black guys more gorgerous than MBJ. Maybe the boxing thing….IDK

  11. Michael B. Jordan makes me so proud of being a black man. I hope he knows how much he means to the black community. That killmonger role in black panther was AMAZING

  12. I'm kool with Michael B, but someone else should've played the role. He looks nothing like Brian Stevenson. Brian Stevenson was light skinned.

  13. You know a movie really touches the crowd when both blacks and whites cry. Everybody in my theater was in tears last night. And it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. When I walked in I was so shocked at how many white out numbered us, but nun the less the experience was amazing. MBJ deserves an Oscar as well as Jamie. ❤️

    If you haven’t seen it all ready go watch it and experience the frustration, sadness and satisfying ora of what Bryan Stevenson did.

  14. Have been a fan of the guy's work since "Parenthood," and seeing him become a bonafide star is awesome. One of the best actors of his generation hands down.

  15. am i the only straight woman that doesnt give to shits about him, hes not hot at all, theres nothing special about him or his face, hes fuckin below average when it comes to being good looking, and thats me being nice about it, like seriouslyy come on.

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