Often called the Denzel Washington of his generation, Michael B. Jordan rose to prominence on the critically acclaimed NBC high school football drama Friday Night Lights. He recently joined the cast of NBC's dramatic comedy series Parenthood for its second season run. We recently caught up with Michael to chat with him about Friday Night Lights' upcoming finale season, just as he is preparing to shoot his first episodes of Parenthood, where he will play Haddie Braverman's (Sarah Ramos) new boyfriend.
Here is our conversation:
So, you are joining the cast of Parenthood for its second season?
Michael B. Jordan: I haven't filmed any of those episodes yet. I start in a few weeks.
You are playing Haddie Braverman's boyfriend on the series. Can you tell me a little bit about your relationship with Sarah Ramos on the show?
Michael B. Jordan: Honestly, we are still trying to figure that out. Right now, I believe I am playing the manager of a food bank. Where Sarah's character comes to volunteer. That is where we first meet. Its like a Romeo and Juliet story throughout my arc, without giving away too much. We interact with each other around this food bank. From there on, I'm not sure where they plan on taking it. But that is how we first get introduced.
Within the context of the story, is Haddie's dad going to have a problem with your race? Or are they going to class it up a bit, and not focus on that aspect of the relationship?
Michael B. Jordan: I'm not sure. I can imagine that they might throw a little bit of that in there. Seeing as how I am one of the only two black guys on the show. I'm not sure. I can't be positive. But I think they will address that.
Was Parenthood a series you watched last season? We're you excited to jump into this series? Or were you unfamiliar with it?
Michael B. Jordan: Well, Jason Katims was one of the head writers and an executive producer of Friday Night Lights. I have respect for his work, and his word is enough for me. He is extremely talented, and I was excited to work with him again. He called me up and told me a little bit about this new character. Unfortunatly, I wasn't able to see the first season of Parenthood, because I was too busy shooting Friday Night Lights. That took up a lot of my time, and I wasn't able to watch a lot of television. Once I found out about this season, with me getting the part, I did go back and watch the first season. And Parenthood is an amazing show. It made me that much more excited about being a part of this cast. Everyone is so talented, and it's an extremely well written show. One of the most important things to me is the material and the work. The money and the exposure? That's cool. That is the icing on the cake. But if you don't have the good material, I'm not willing to sell my soul for all the glitter and gold. You know what I am saying? That's not why I do this. It's really about the work. A lot of people watch these shows, and they take everything verbatim. They take these situations as real. If you are doing something that isn't real, or a little more out there, it gets lost in translation. That's why I like doing these types of shows. I like well-written shows. And I am super excited about working on this one.
Now, you've shot the finale season of Friday Night Lights? Correct? We just haven't seen it yet.
Michael B. Jordan: That is correct. We have one final season that will come out on October 27th on DirecTv, and then those without cable will get to see it this spring on NBC.
And you are all done filming that last season.
Michael B. Jordan: Yes. We are all finished. We are completely done. I'm not sure if I can go into detail about it too much. But Vince has really matured as a football player. And as a person. He has definitely matured. It's a roller coaster ride. We'll see some people from Vince's past. It makes things hard on him. His dad comes back into his life. That is one thing that happens to him. His father comes back, and it makes for an interesting confliction between coach and dad. Vince is faced with these two father figures. That is always going to be rough for a sixteen-year-old kid in high school who is trying to do the right thing and take care of his family. Vince is faced with a lot of forks in the road. He could make a good decision or a bad decision. It's all up in the air at this point. It's going to be a very entertaining season. I can promise you that.
How emotional did the set get on that last episode?
Michael B. Jordan: I was in tears. I've only been on the show for two seasons. I can only image that for some of the cast, who have been there since the beginning, and the crew, these guys who have been around for five years, that it was an emotional time. A lot of people don't want to see it go. Some of them don't believe its over. A lot of the crew, a lot of the actors, they are wishing that they would bring us back for one last time. They want a season 6. That would be cool, but at the same time, you really don't want to run a show down into the dirt. You don't want people asking, "Why isn't this over?" Sometimes you have to go out on top. These last two seasons? I think we wrapped them up the right way. I think this is a good moment to move onto something else. You don't want to ride it until it sours. I am a strong believer in that. I think it's the right time to go.
Parenthood's second season premieres with I Hear You, I See You on September 14th, only on NBC. Friday Night Lights's fifth and final season kicks off this October on DirecTv, followed by its second run on NBC in the spring.