Main antagonist of Black Panther, in the guise of Erik Killmonger, actor Michael B. Jordan was inspired by an unforgettable incarnation of a great actor to compose his character.
In Black Pantherthe film from the Marvel team directed by Ryan Cooglerthe actor Michael B.Jordan lends his features to Erik Killmonger, the main antagonist of the film, who opposes T’Challa, played by the late Chadwick Boseman.
In June 2019, AFI, theAmerican Film Institutehonored the career of the great comedian Denzel Washingtonawarding him a Life Achievement Award well-deserved. In this well-rehearsed exercise, various talents and friends who have worked with the person rewarded come to split a little tribute speech on a desk. Michael B. Jordan was one of them.
According to comments reported at the time by the site indiwireMichael B. Jordan discussed Denzel Washington’s role in the big movie GloryofEdward Zwick. He embodied the rebel soldier Trip, his back ravaged by whippings, recalling that he was a former slave before being a soldier in this authentic story of the first Black regiment, which takes place during the Civil War, in 1863. Delivering a fantastic composition, Washington was rightly rewarded with the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
The actor of Black Panther was thus inspired by what Washington had done in Glory to build their own character. “I heard a story about Glory […] In the scene around the campfire, you weren’t supposed to be shirtless but you still had your scars on your back.
So that you could feel them, know that they represented what your character had to go through. I tell you tonight, my brother, [ce rôle-là] that’s the only reason I played Killmonger. I had those scars too, even though you couldn’t see them, so I wanted to thank you for that.”
A scene of great emotional power
A very nice tribute indeed, which also allows us to come back to this sequence of the film, which is very emotionally charged. It was during the filming of the famous sequence where Denzel Washington suffered the terrible humiliation of being whipped in front of the whole regiment. A very tense scene to shoot.
“The experts told us that when entering these camps, we sometimes saw guys tied to wheels. It was their punishment. They tied you up, whipped you, and left you there. Nothing to do with the color , it was a military punishment” explained Morgan Freemanalso headlining the film.
“Flogging a man in Georgia, where so many others had been whipped before, woke up demons” explained Edward Zwick; “I didn’t really know what it was going to look like. I looked with the props man for a way to do the scene. He had a leather strap on which he put color so that it looked like blood. It said, “It will sting a little, but it won’t hurt”.
And Denzel, who on such a day is ready for anything and gets into the skin of the character, did not want to talk about it. I sensed something Denzel didn’t want to explore, and it was the deepest humiliation, the theft of his dignity.
I told the operator to put a 300m reel on the camera, and I told the cinematographer not to stop, I let it roll, until Denzel got there. What he discovered was the loss of control. And what follows is one of the strongest moments I’ve seen in cinema.”
Below, the scene in question, of a terrible and poignant intensity…