I come from nothing. I come from sleeping in the kitchen with my family with the oven open to keep us warm during winter, you know? When you come from that background, all this extra stuff is just... extra stuff, you know?
Don't pretend to know everything. I've been blessed to work with a lot of veteran actors, and I soak up lessons from them like a sponge.
I think history repeats itself. There's a constant conversation between the oppressed and the oppressor. No matter what your field is, whether it's gender equality, the Time's Up movement, or diversity casting, it's always going to be a back-and-forth battle.
When I trained for 'Creed,' I had about a year in advance to know what I was doing before. So I lived like a fighter, you know? I went through the workout routine, the diet, training with real boxers, training with real trainers, did the whole thing.
I love sports. I've played basketball, baseball, soccer, tennis, track and field growing up.
I was born in Orange County - in Santa Ana. My dad is from California. I was raised on the East Coast. My first two years were in California, but I claim East Coast. I'm sorry, I don't rep California.
I came to the realization that I can also satisfy my creative side by giving somebody else a chance. I don't have to be in front of the camera for every project.
I want to leave something behind. A blueprint. A work ethic. Something that my great-grandkids and their kids and their kids can see: This is where it started. Lineage. Intergenerational wealth. Things that are here forever. All that.
I love Newark, but it was easy to get caught up in the wrong situation. You know, when you come from very humble beginnings, you always have that fear that everything could go away at any moment.
You borrow from the greats, and you make your own path without losing the core of who you are.
I'm an athlete; I've got an ego when stunt doubles have to come in. Not an ego like that, but when it comes to physical stuff, if I didn't have to have a stunt double, I would always probably do it myself unless the producers were jumping in and stopping me.
I'm a comic book fan.
Definitely, as I get older and my taste buds change, I want to do different things. I'm not ready for directing yet, you know, maybe when I get my big boy voice; I don't have that yet, but right now definitely producing for sure.
I like the old '90s music.
That's one of the fun parts of becoming an actor: You can become whoever you want to be.
It's the African-American experience. You've got to wear different masks. When you're in the hood, if you stand out, you get picked on for being weak. Sometimes you have to hide your intelligence. In front of your boys, you might put on a bit of bravado, be a little bit tougher.
You start at a young age, going on auditions, and you think you did a good job and expect to get that role, and you don't, and it's a letdown, a disappointment. So you tell yourself to just do the work and disconnect, because you have no control over the outcome.
I come from North New Jersey, where nothing's promised.
Never played football, but I'm an athlete. I'm a competitor.
I'm a tropical weather cruiser. I like surfing, you know. I like being on the beach.
Playing a bad guy would be fun, I'm not going to lie. I'd definitely do that in a heartbeat, because it's so out of my nature.
I think everyone starts in the mailroom at some point! It's a right of passage. Your boss has to throw something at you and order you around for at least two years.
I've never been the kind of guy to hype myself up. It's just not my thing.
Acting I'll do forever, but I want to produce and stuff as well.
I'm always good at seeing five, ten steps ahead. Like, really thinking ahead, you know? Reverse engineering, whatever it is, you know.
I'm not saying no to anything, at least as far as reading scripts. I don't care if it's television or films but, personally, I would say I'd like to establish myself more in film.
L.A. is cool. If I could have the rest of my family out there, I think it would make it that much better for me. As far as work and the weather, you can't really beat it. I just wish they had the New York social life out there. That would make it perfect.
I wanted to start creating opportunities for actors out there that weren't so cut-and-dried... My ultimate goal with Outlier is to give these young creatives and young creative hustlers the opportunity to leave their fingerprint on the world.
Honestly, I want to do films. I want to make that move from actor to producer, like Will Smith.
I want to do more films.
Doing ensembles and shows is one thing, but being able to front a feature is totally different. You can be a great actor, and supertalented, but there's something about carrying a feature that's unique.
I was still playing basketball and baseball - everything else I wanted to do as a kid. Modeling was a chance to get out of school early and go into the city.
For me, I really enjoy telling stories and helping the younger generation, young actors to have the same opportunity I did.
I think that's part of my evolution: realizing that I can say 'no' to things, even when I'm faced with that lull that comes between projects, and I get anxious because I feel like I need to be constantly working.
Honestly, soaps are great training. You're doing 90-plus pages a day. It was my acting class, where I built my foundation for showing up and being professional.
Being named Michael Jordan - I think growing up playing sports and having a name like Michael Jordan - and I was extremely competitive - I used to get teased a lot. But it made me want to strive for greatness and be able to compete at whatever I decided to do.
As an actor, you always dream of having material that showcases what you can do.
I love telling the experience of a black male in America, but modern, not always having to go back to a period piece to remind people where we come from. It's more a modern sense of where we are today and where we want to go in the future. So I try to choose projects somewhere around that space.
As a naturally reserved and quiet person, it's definitely a challenge being thrust into this atmosphere of celebrity and everything that comes along with that. Some parts I'm resisting more than others but can't for much longer, so I'm just trying to find a way to make sense of it all.
You work on a show like 'All My Children' - we know what it is, but you're still able to grow outside of it. It's the perfect situation. I learned. I grew as an actor. I worked with professionals. I got paid.
My dreams are huge, man. I dream all day every day. Do I want to get into restaurants one day? Yeah! Do I want to get into hospitality and have my own hotels? Yeah, I do!
I think my dad is definitely my biggest role model, personally, just in my day-to-day life.
I like being able to do all of my own stunts. I appreciate stunt guys and what they do and, of course, the time and the effort that they put in, but for me, I'm young. You only live once, so to be able to do all your own stunts, train, become a real fighter... I feel like I can hold my own.
I've said no to a lot of things because they didn't make me a leading man. They put me in a category I wasn't interested in.
I watch films that inspire me and make me want to go to work the next morning, that really push you and motivate you. So in that aspect, I look up to a lot of people.