Michael B. Jordan had a breakthrough 2013, thanks to his starring role as Oscar Grant III in Fruitvale Station. Prior to his acclaimed performance, he endeared himself to television audiences with arcs on The Wire, Friday Night Lights and Parenthood. He’s rumored to be in talks for Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four reboot as well as Lee Daniels’ Richard Pryor biopic. But first, he’s making his comedic debut in That Awkward Moment, alongside pals Miles Teller and Zac Efron. Tearjerkers, superheroes, comedic legends–is there anything MBJ can’t do?
We’ve been fans of the 26-year-old Newark, New Jersey native since he had braids and was afraid of crickets as West Baltimore resident Wallace on The Wire. For those of you who are still unfamiliar (and in about 12 hours you’ll have no excuse to continue to be so) with the talented actor, use this guide to get yourselves better acquainted.
1. He has dramatic chopsJordan has been consistently cast in heavy projects, often suffering a traumatic death. (He’d like to bunk that trend for the sake of his own mom.) TAM director Tom Gormican gushed to us about his crying abilities, and FNL fans could recognize the Vince Chin anywhere. Haven’t seen the aforementioned Fruitvale Station? Get on it!
2. He’s a practical jokerIn TAM, Jordan’s character runs into some problems with his little head and a dangerous bottle of self tanner, causing him to wear only a towel for a good five minutes of the film. He doesn’t go full-frontal, but costar Miles Teller revealed to Us Weekly that Jordan caught the entire set by surprise on multiple occasions:
You know, Michael B. is very comfortable walking around on set naked. It’s a lot to deal with when you’ve just met a guy, but, yes, he enjoys taking his pants off.
His fellow costars agree!
3. He’s always willing to help a friend in need
Although… does Zac Efron really need any help?Maybe with his neckwear. Added bonus: MBJ knows how to tie a tie.
4. He treats women well
Back in December, Jordan told Oprah Winfrey that he’s cautious when it comes to dating. While he’s never had a real girlfriend (what?), he has a sister, and therefore he always strives to treat women with 110 percent respect. And we believe him, because no one can lie to Oprah.
5. He looks good in a bathing suit
The photo speaks for itself. See also: the aforementioned near-nudity in TAM.
6. He has a sense of adventureJordan has gone skydiving in Dubai. At least your hypothetical dates won’t be boring!
7. He’s an animal lover
Or at least, is keen enough on them as to not freak out when a monkey is crawling all over him on live television. (See: his recent Today appearance.)
8. He’s a sports fan
Not only does he share a name with the greatest basketball player to have ever lived (note the middle initial, though), he’s a lifelong New York Knicks fan. He’s be spotted courtside at games this season, and Jordan will soon put his hoops skills to the test at next month’s NBA Celebrity All-Star game. Watch out, Kevin Hart. MBJ is coming for your MVP title.
9. He has a trademark move’
Like his trembling Vince Chin, MBJ gets a lot of attention for his lips. Specifically when he licks them. So much so, that Teller couldn’t help but warn Vulture’s Jada Yuan about his friend and costar’s interview strategy. “That’s kind of his thing,” Teller said jokingly, about MBJ allegedly trying to “sleep with” interviewers. “Every time he licks his lips, I take a drink. I’m drunk in the first minute.”
10. He has access to Connie Britton
Whether she’s Tami Taylor or Rayna James, Queen Connie will never not be the woman we want to be when we grow up. Despite the fact that Jordan shared more screentime with Britton’s TV husband, Kyle Chandler, he remains tight with his former costar. Jordan spoke Vulture about whom he keeps in touch with from the FNL cast:
Not everybody, but most. Like, Derek Phillips, who played Billy Riggins; [Taylor] Kitsch every once in a while. Stacey Oristano, who played Billy’s wife. Connie [Britton] all the time. Kyle when I see him. For sure. I mean, we’re a tight family. We’re very tight. So there’s always love.
All the time. As in, they probably know each other’s coffee order and where they each get their hair done in L.A. Invite us next time y’all hang!
Did we mention that smile? See you in our dreams, MBJ.
That Awkward Moment is in theaters now.