Black Panther saw some impressive performances by actors, including Michael B. Jordan’s Erik Killmonger who became a stand-out villain in the MCU, thanks to his captivating on-screen presence and motivations. Jordan fully embraced his character which left lasting effects on Jordan, as he recently admitted taking therapy after playing Killmonger.
“It was one of those things that I didn’t know what was going on,” Jordan shared with The Bill Simmons Podcast. “I never was in a character for that long of a period of time and was, I guess, that dark, that lonely, that painful. So coming out of it, I thought, ‘Oh yeah, business as usual. I can just go back home, I’ll cut my hair off, and everything will be back to normal.'”
Black Panther sees Killmonger overthrowing T’Challa as the King of Wakanda, revealing that he hails from Wakanda and hopes to use the resources of the nation to seek justice against their oppressors. Many viewers connected to his motivations and #KillmongerWasRight started spreading over the social media.
While viewers may have empathised with him, Jordan stated that playing Killmonger wasn’t an easy or enjoyable task.
“I found myself kind of in the routine of being isolated and went out of my way to make sure I was by myself and didn’t say too much more than the usual,” the actor continued. “Once I got finished wrapping the movie, it took me some time to talk through how I was feeling and why I was feeling so sad and like a little bit depressed.”
He further added that by receiving help professionally through his emotions, he finally began feeling like himself, coming to terms with the ones closest with him.
“Not just being in the room, but being present and engaging,” Jordan noted. “And just talking things out that I never really kind of talked through.”
The actor is used to playing the lead role in most films, like Creed and Fruitvale Station, and his first time as a villain certainly took a toll on his identity.
“I was just doing what I felt was right,” Jordan detailed of his process. “Whatever got me emotionally to the place I needed to be, that’s what I did.”