Black Panther co-stars Michael B. Jordan and Chadwick Boseman talk about playing the same character in a soap opera more than a decade ago.
The two hadn't worked with each other before the Ryan Coogler-directed flick brought them together in February 2018. Despite that, they still have a history with one show - the 2003 soap opera, All My Children, where they both played the same character: Reggie Montgomery. Reggie was the adopted son of Jackson Montgomery (Walt Wiley) and was often depicted as the stereotypical thug. Boseman played the character in 2003 for just a week, and then Jordan came in to take his place and went on to have the gig for three more years until 2006. Fifteen years later, they talk about this bizarre coincidence for the first time.
Speaking with The Wrap as part of the outlet's January magazine issue, the actors were asked for the first time regarding their shared past in All My Children. The two sounded reluctant to open up about that time especially since Boseman was fired from the role and was replaced by Jordan, but once the conversation got going, they were more than happy to discuss that point in their careers. Boseman, on his part, talked about the process of nabbing the gig only to get sacked shortly after for speaking his mind:
“It’s one of those things where you get a role, and you don’t really know. When I got it, I was like, ‘This is not part of my manifesto. This is not part of what I want to do. How can I make it work?’ Because with a soap opera, you don’t know the full scope of what’s gonna happen — you don’t know where they’re gonna take the character, because they don’t always know where the character is going. And because of that, there’s possibly room for me to adjust this and change it and make it so it’s stereotypical on the page but not on the screen.”
Jordan, on the other hand, shared about taking over the role from Boseman fresh off his stint in HBO's The Wire. He thanked his Black Panther castmate particularly for speaking out which actually made his job easier in playing the same character especially since he's younger than Boseman.
"I’m younger than Chad, and I was coming into ‘All My Children’ fresh off ‘The Wire’ — wide open, still learning. I was playing this role not knowing that a lot of the things I was going through were because of what he’d already done for me.
“It’s hard to speak in the moment about how things we do can affect other people. But this is a pure example, right here on the spot — we ain’t never talked about this before a day in our lives — to understand how what people do now can directly affect what other people do in the future. And the work that we’re doing on ‘Black Panther’ is hopefully doing the same thing for the next group of actors that are coming up, just like our predecessors opened up doors and made things easier for us.”
As fate would have it, the actors eventually had the privilege of working together in Marvel Studios' Black Panther which is currently being propositioned for some Academy Award nominations. The film was a critical and box office hit, becoming the highest earning movie of 2018 in North America. Considering how much time Boseman and Jordan spent together in the last couple of years between filming the flick and traveling around the world to promote it, it's interesting that they had yet to talk about their shared history on All My Children.
Source: The Wrap