This holiday season, Michael B. Jordan is gifting us a dose of romance.
The action star takes on his first romantic drama with “A Journal for Jordan” (due in theaters this December), a true story of a soldier deployed to Iraq who keeps a journal of love and advice for his infant son.
USA TODAY has the exclusive first look at the trailer and photos for “A Journal for Jordan,” directed by Denzel Washington and based on the bestselling memoir by Pulitzer Prize-winning former journalist Dana Canedy about her late partner, Sgt. Charles Monroe King.
Taking a break from action films like “Without Remorse” and the “Creed” franchise “was a good change of pace,” Jordan says. “I’ve done a lot of physical roles, because that’s been my appetite. I’m 34; the last seven years has been (about) physically developing into your sweet spot.” But he says he was ready to try something more exposed. “I felt safe to be able to go into this, to explore these characters, and to be vulnerable in that type of way.
It helped that Washington, who last directed the 2016 Oscar nominee “Fences,” was behind the camera, offering what the actor calls “a master class of character development and directing.”
“Everybody wants to work with him, and he’s a very selective guy,” says Jordan, who is also a producer on the film. “So the fact that he wanted to work with me was a huge deal for me.”
Canedy, a publishing executive at Simon & Schuster whose son is now 16, shared her stories with the filmmaking team, pointing “us in the right direction of what they were going through during these times,” Jordan says. “The story would not be happening if it wasn’t for (the family’s) approval and signoff on everything.”
Onscreen as Iraq-bound soldier Charles, the actor embodies the ideal – and yes, ripped – partner, showering the woman in his life (Chanté Adams as Dana) with adoration and sweet gestures. “Dear Jordan,” Charles writes to his baby son, “just take one look at your mother. That will tell you what I think beautiful is.”
“I consider myself a romantic. I like love. I’ve had an amazing example of what love looks like growing up,” says Jordan, noting he naturally gravitates toward “being able to be a person of service. … There’s a certain level of catering to that I enjoy.”.