‘He Doesn’t Want Me to Be Another Him’: Michael B. Jordan Responds to Denzel Washington Comparisons

Actor Michael B. Jordan is responding to people who are comparing him to his mentor, movie star Denzel Washington. Washington directed Jordan in the new film “A Journal for Jordan.”

In a Dec. 21 interview with E! News, when asked about the comparisons between Washington and himself, Jordan gave Washington his well-deserved flowers. He also said that Washington wanted the “Creed” actor to be the best version of himself, not another Washington.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – DECEMBER 09: Michael B. Jordan and Denzel Washington attend the world premiere of “A Journal For Jordan” at AMC Lincoln Square Theater on December 09, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Sony Pictures)

“It’s an honor,” said Jordan. “Without Denzel, there would be no me. You know, like, in a sense. So, you’ve gotta respect that. That’s a fact. But at the same time, he wants me to be the best version of myself. He doesn’t want me to be another him.”

The 34-year-old actor was compared to Washington prior to the actors’ collaboration on “A Journal for Jordan.” Critics first noticed him after he starred in “Fruitvale Station” in 2013 and said that Jordan reminded them of a younger version of Denzel Washington. The New York Times spoke with the actors in 2018 and discussed the comparisons.

“The Wire” actor was humbled by the comparisons to the Washington after only one film and said he used them as motivation while building his career, hoping to one day get recognition from the movie star.

“When someone says you’re like your idol, it’s like: ‘Really? You see that in me?’ I’d only done that one movie. But then I started using it as motivation,” said Jordan. “I wanted to pop up on Denzel’s radar. He’s the O.G. If I could get recognition from him, I know I’m going down the right path, you know?”

“And here we are, Mike! Looks like it’s working out already,” added Washington.

Jordan was just 15 years old when he landed his role as Wallace on the HBO crime drama “The Wire.” Actors Michael K. Williams and Idris Elba were also part of the cast. The young actor went on to star in “Friday Night Lights” and “Parenthood” before being cast in “Fruitvale Station.”

Jordan also told E! News that he could have never passed up an opportunity to work with Washington. “When Denzel calls you, you answer,” said Jordan. “So, to have an opportunity to work with him so closely was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”

The “Equalizer” actor returned the compliment and said the sky is the limit for Jordan regarding his acting career. “Michael is talented, sweet, humble, grateful, eager to learn. The sky’s the limit for him. The sky’s the limit for Michael,” said Washington.

“A Journal for Jordan” is currently in theaters.


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