The Untold Truth Of Michael B. Jordan

Michael B. Jordan has become a household name in recent years, but he did not see his success overnight. His acting career spans decades, with his on-camera credits dating back to his childhood when he landed some spots in commercials, per The Guardian. After juggling a handful of roles in the '00s and early 2010s in series like "The Wire," "Friday Night Lights," and "Parenthood," Jordan's career started to gain traction with his critically-acclaimed performance in 2013's "Fruitvale Station."

People listed Jordan in the publication's "Ones to Watch" list that same year. "It's more of an acknowledgment so it feels like I got to another level," he said of receiving accolades for his "Fruitvale Station" performance. "I feel like I've been growing. Usually, you can't tell the stepping stones you reach, but on this one, I can tell it's a step in the right direction." It was seemingly the right direction, indeed, because he went on to portray boxing legend Apollo Creed's son, Adonis, in 2015's "Creed" and villain Erik Killmonger in 2018's "Black Panther" — roles for which he earned much praise.

In 2020, his career took another step in the right direction when People named him the year's Sexiest Man Alive. Since then, he has been one of the busiest folks in Hollywood, with over half a dozen credits to his name in 2021 alone. All that said, here is the untold truth of Michael B. Jordan.

He's working on a superhero series for HBO

It was announced in 2021 that Michael B. Jordan would be part of Darnell Metayer and Josh Peters' "Val Zod." The HBO Max adaptation tells the story of a Black Kryptonian who winds up on Earth 2. Like Superman, Val Zod also has superpowers and makes do on his adoptive planet Earth. Deadline reported that, while folks would love to see Jordan play Val Zod, right now he is just slated as an executive producer through his Outlier Society production company.

Giant Freakin Robot noted that even a year after the original announcement, it still isn't clear who is going to star as the titular character. Even so, Jordan might simply be too busy to take on the leading role. Beyond his acting work, Jordan's Outlier Society is also a thriving project manager.

According to Variety, Outlier Society is producing a lot of television, including "61st Street," "Raising Dion," and "Gen: Lock" — not to mention their other superhero work, "Static Shock." 

Michael B. Jordan is super close to his family

Michael B. Jordan and his siblings were born in California but raised in Newark, N.J. by his parents, Donna and Michael A. Jordan. He credits his family's support in his booming career. "My mom and dad sacrificed so much to provide for my sister, brother and me," he told People. "I'm just grateful. Honestly it's like they all have had such an impact on me and who I am and how I approach each day. Without that, a lot of things about me just wouldn't be the same. So it all comes back to that foundation. I'm really thankful for that."

This isn't the first time he has opened up about his appreciation for his family. In 2018, a hater tried throwing some shade at the actor on Twitter by mocking his love of anime, his living situation with his parents, and his 5'9" height (via Elite Daily). Jordan was quick to clap back and found some humor in the attempted insult. "First of All I'm 6ft and they live with ME, put some respeck on my name. LOL...aaaand goku & naruto are real ones lol," he tweeted in response, proving there is nothing wrong with a man supporting his family after they did the same for him.

His family is just one of the things Jordan is passionate about. When he's not acting, he enjoys cooking, driving cars, playing video games, and fighting for what he believes in, per People.

Michael B. Jordan is a dedicated activist

Michael B. Jordan concerns himself with making a mark on Hollywood and the world. In 2018, his production company, Outlier Society Productions, adopted an inclusion rider, making him "the first major actor to publicly adopt the idea" following Frances McDormand's call for inclusion riders at the 2018 Oscars, per The New York Times. Inclusion riders ensure that filmmakers hire a diverse cast and crew. 

"In support of the women & men who are leading this fight, I will be adopting the Inclusion Rider for all projects produced by my company Outlier Society," the "Black Panther" star wrote in a since-deleted Instagram post (via Deadline). "I've been privileged to work with powerful [women] & persons of color throughout my career & it's Outlier's mission to continue to create for talented individuals going forward."

Jordan has also been a vocal advocate of the Black Lives Matter movement, venturing into the crowded streets of Los Angeles amid widespread protests in 2020 to make a statement following the killing of George Floyd. According to IndieWire, Jordan made an impassioned speech to demand that Hollywood studios and agencies commit to diversity when hiring. "I think there's a time and a place for everything," he told People while talking about his activism. "I've been picking my moments to make the most impact. We can all take action — big or small — to help create the change we want to see."

He said he was a 'pyromaniac' as a kid

He isn't being cheeky; Michael B. Jordan legitimately had a problem with flames. In 2018, he admitted on the popular "Hot Ones" show that he literally played with fire as a kid. "I was a pyromaniac growing up," Jordan said. "I used to live next door to my grandmother and she used to always have incense. [I would light a] match and I used to just spark that on fire. Literally just would light it on fire, take the incense and poke it through the shower — the plastic shower curtains. Yeah, I had my fair share of whoopings off of that."

The Week notes that some of Jordan's past roles coincidentally have centered on fire in some way. In just three months, for example, Jordan made appearances on the silver screen as Erik "Killmonger" Stevens in "Black Panther" before playing Guy Montag in "Fahrenheit 451" — ironically, both characters have an itch to burn things. We bet that filmmakers can sense Jordan's love of flickering flames. We can't blame them for using his childhood obsession for good (or fictional evil).

Michael B. Jordan was in a serious relationship with Steve Harvey's daughter

For about 18 months, Michael B. Jordan and Lori Harvey (daughter of Steve Harvey) dated before breaking up in June 2022. A source told People that the break-up was hard on Jordan and Harvey, though they still loved one another. "Michael matured a lot over the course of their relationship and was ready to commit for the long term," the source said. "He let down his guard with her, opening up emotionally in a romantic relationship for the first time. They had great times together and brought out the best in each other."

On his morning show, Steve Harvey commented that he was Team Lori (obviously) but emphasized that it's difficult to navigate fame and a relationship at the same time (via USA Today). The outlet noted that Harvey and Jordan were linked in late 2020 and became Instagram official on January 10, 2021. Like Steve Harvey said after the news broke, they'll both be okay: "He's still a cool guy from what I know. It's a break-up ... people break up all the time."

The actor faced criticism after launching his rum brand

When Michael B. Jordan decided to launch his own rum brand in 2021, the brand name spurred controversy. In fact, Nicki Minaj reached out to Jordan personally to ask him to rebrand his company. Jordan originally named the line of rum J'Ouvert, which is derived from a Caribbean carnival that, in addition to celebrating the culture, also has a historical connection to emancipation from slavery. Luckily Minaj, who was born in Trinidad, convinced Jordan (who was born in California) to change the name.

Jordan issued an apology in an Instagram story along with a promise to change the company's moniker (via BBC). "I just wanna say on behalf of myself & my partners, our intention was never to offend or hurt a culture (we love & respect) and hoped to celebrate & shine a positive light on," he wrote. "We hear you. I hear you & want to be clear that we are in the process of renaming." The new name has still not been announced.

Michael B. Jordan has been linked to many famous women

Lori Harvey is not the only famous woman Michael B. Jordan has been seen spending time with. Jordan has had quite a few celebrity women on his arm through the years (though they haven't all held girlfriend status). According to Us Weekly, he's been spotted with ladies such as Kendall Jenner, Cindy Bruna, Lupita Nyong'o, Kiki Layne, and Snoh Aalegra, though some of these connections might be more business-related. While speculation always runs wild when Jordan is spotted with a lovely companion, folks like Nyong'o remind the media that good friendships are valid, too.

Nyong'o told ET that their relationship is very much on the friendship side. "It's flattering at the end of the day," she told the outlet. "I think it's such a rare thing to find people you have good chemistry with and too for us to find each other as actors and get to work together, it makes the work richer that we truly enjoy each other's company on and off screen." Jordan confirmed to ET that he and Nyong'o are just close friends who respect one another deeply. We love a good friendship story.

How much is he worth?

As one of Hollywood's busy bee actors, Michael B. Jordan's fortune certainly is growing to reflect the amount of work he's put in. Jordan can currently boast an estimated net worth of $25 million. Per Variety, it's been commonplace for big stars to earn $20 million per movie since 1996 when Jim Carrey starred in "The Cable Guy." Since then, that paycheck structure has stayed somewhat consistent even for stars like Brad Pitt, Sandra Bullock, and Chris Hemsworth, who all earned that cool $20 mill for 2022 films.

Meanwhile, Jordan is still working his way there. The outlet noted he earned about $15 million for "Without Remorse" when Amazon scooped up the film. However, that is much more than the $3 million that Robert Pattinson earned for "The Batman" — which is ironic, given the money behind the caped crusader. Salaries aside, Jordan is still true to his own notion of success.

The actor told CNBC in 2019 that everyone has their own idea of what it means to be successful. "I think for me, it's always been, you're defined by what you say no to," he told the outlet. "You can't do everything. You have to be selective. You want to build your brand in a very prestigious way, that's what I'm going for."

What does the B in Michael B. Jordan's name stand for?

Contrary to what folks might think, Michael B. Jordan was not named after a famous basketball player/sometime baseball player. Jordan told Jimmy Kimmel on his show that it's been frustrating to always correct people, though the name confusion has benefitted him from time to time (via Insider). Discussing a pizzeria who thought they were being pranked over Jordan's legitimate order, he recalled, "I actually went down there one time, slammed my I.D. on the counter. He gave me two free pizzas. It worked out."

Jordan was actually named after his father Michael A. Jordan, but he told Ellen DeGeneres on her show in 2021 that he wouldn't be continuing the naming tradition. Jordan explained that he didn't want to pass on the burden of living up to a parent's name.

Granted, there must be little confusion within Jordan's family because they generally refer to him by his middle name: Bakari. Bakari is a Swahili name meaning "of noble promise," Jordan told GQ in 2015. "That's why names are very powerful, you know. Bakari's something that's been said to me all my life by the people I really care about and respect," he shared.

He enjoys watching anime

It might have seemed random that Michael B. Jordan collaborated with Coach on an anime-inspired fashion line, though anyone who knows the actor would understand that his chosen fandom in anime made him the perfect collaborator. A childhood love of Saturday morning cartoons inspired Jordan's continued interest in the art form, the actor told The Hollywood Reporter. "I discovered other forms of animation, Disney and Pixar. Then, of course, once the internet really got going, I was able to find animation from Japan. My passion just grew over the years, and I found myself being an avid anime fan," he explained.

Jordan's main anime fandom is one that has lots and lots of other fans around the world: "Naruto." In 2018, the actor joined GQ in a video where he replied to fans asking questions all over the internet. On Twitter, he told one, "My favorite anime is Naruto Shippuden. Been a fan of it for years, since I was maybe 12 or 13 years old." He even said that seeing main characters Sasuke and Naruto growing up made him shed a tear or two by the end of the series.

He didn't dream of being an actor when he was young

Although Donna Jordan (mother to Michael B. Jordan) coerced her son into tap dancing as a kid, her encouragement is largely why he is now a multimillion-dollar Hollywood icon. Jordan insisted to HuffPost in 2013 that tap dancing was not his idea. He was involved in a lot of other activities as he started to discover his path, including acting, of course. The craft only became more interesting to him as he grew up and kept working at it.

"I kinda got into it, and it just sort of elevated, you know what I'm saying?" he told NJ. "It wasn't something that I always wanted to do. But like a lot of kids, you know, I didn't know what I wanted to be. And modeling, acting, it got me out of school early, got me a chance to go into the city, so I was all into that." Maybe Jordan will need those childhood tap dancing skills in a future film? (C'mon, Hollywood directors!)

He's raised awareness for lupus research

Donna Jordan inspired so much of Michael B. Jordan's work, it's no wonder she's inspired his philanthropy, as well. Donna, who has Lupus, is the reason Michael dedicates so much time to raising awareness around the disease. "It's a huge deal honestly. If all of us use our platform to get the word out there, it's a huge deal," Jordan told Variety after hosting his 3rd annual MBJAM benefit for Lupus L.A. in 2019. "I think education and bringing awareness to it is half the battle, and then I think once it becomes not normalized, but since it becomes more common, I think people will start to gravitate towards it and try to fix it."

Michael's Lupus fundraisers attract other celebs, like Toni Braxton and Nick Cannon, who both live with Lupus. Michael told The Hollywood Reporter that building a community around the illness helps people and increases awareness of the lesser understood disease. "Shameless" actor Scott Campbell added that a lot of people have Lupus and don't even know, it which is why awareness is so important.

A young Michael B. Jordan appeared on The Sopranos

Obviously, shows like "Law & Order" are known for being launchpads for young or up-and-coming actors. But starting in 1999, HBO's "The Sopranos" had bit parts that now are like an Easter egg hunt to find favorite celebs. Ben Kingsley, Lady Gaga, Michael B. Jordan, and even Lin-Manuel Miranda all had minor roles in the show. Sure, Jordan's star really started to rise after "The Wire," but his small spot on "The Sopranos" can't be discounted. Jordan can be seen briefly in Season 1, and he reflected on the experience in a breakdown of his career with Vanity Fair.

Jordan's appearance on the HBO hit was actually his very first professional credit at just 12 years old. "I was just one of the extras, one of the background kids. I think I might have snuck in a couple lines," the actor told the outlet. He added, "I was a bully. I was bullying Tony during one of his therapy sessions. And it was a flashback. He was talking about his childhood and I guess how he used to get bullied on the boardwalk.

Maybe it was Jordan's interaction with a young Tony Soprano that helped shape him into such a lovable villain type à la his role of Killmonger? Who knows! Either way, we know that "The Wire" was not, in fact, his first claim to fame.

Michael B. Jordan has big plans for his future

Down the road, Michael B. Jordan says sees himself still acting, but increasing his output as a director and producer, and maybe even having children. "Just growing, whatever the next evolution of me is," he shared with People. "Hopefully a family by then, I'm going to throw that in the universe. I want to make an impact all over the world and not just through the roles that I play." After being awarded the title of Sexiest Man Alive in 2020, Jordan knows that almost anything is possible for him. "It's a cool feeling," he said. "You know, everybody always made that joke, like, 'Mike, this is the one thing you're probably not going to get.' But it's a good club to be a part of."

As his career continues at full speed, Jordan keeps several projects flowing down the pipeline at once, including his debut as a feature filmmaker for "Creed III," while reprising the role of Adonis Creed (per Variety). "It's my turn to make my impact while I have the energy and strength," he told The Hollywood Reporter, emphasizing, "It's the moment I've waited for my entire life. This is it. This can dictate the next 10, 15, 20 years." Showing the world his range, Jordan also starred in Denzel Washington's 2021 romantic drama, "A Journal for Jordan." Seems that there's nothing this particular Jordan can't do!