Jordan stars in the film and Washington directs the movie based on the New York Times bestselling book by Dana Canedy, also called “A Journal for Jordan.”
The film tells the true love story of Canedy and her husband, First Sgt. Charles Monroe King. The title of the film comes from a journal King wrote for his infant son, Jordan, in the event he met his death while fighting in Iraq.
Jordan told Entertainment Weekly that he admired Washington and when asked what drew him to the film, he said it was the opportunity to work with the legendary actor. He also gave the “Glory” star credit for helping him become better at his craft and prepare Jordan for directing “Creed III.”
“The opportunity to work with Denzel. When Popovich, or somebody gives you a call, it’s like, ‘Oh, s**t. OK. Yeah, yep. I’m showing up,'” he said. “But I think the opportunity to work with one of my mentors and somebody that I idolized, to be able to learn from him and be directed by him, was priceless… it just seemed like a no-brainer.”
The actor got in shape for the movie by training at Fort Irwin, the National Training Center for the United States military in San Bernardino County, California.
He also prepared for the role by getting to know King’s family and friends. Jordan wanted to make sure he honored King and his wife, Canedy, and their love story.
He shared a promotion for “A Journal For Jordan” on Twitter in August.
“Just in time for the holidays! There’s no love without sacrifice. @journal4jordan based on a true story. Exclusively in theaters 12/25.”
The actor also noted that Washington was drawn to the role by his deep respect for the military.
Jordan said Washington “definitely” prepared him for directing “Creed III” by observing him in action on the set and asking him questions. The actor also credited the director for his motivational skills.
“Being directed by Denzel, it’s like you had a master class at everything. He shows up every day to work to give it his all. He leaves with nothing in the tank, so you’ve got to match that energy and that drive. So it definitely pushed me to do more,” said Jordan. “That was an incredible experience…. It raised my game in a lot of ways, so I’m extremely grateful for that process.”
“A Journal For Jordan” premiers on Dec. 25.