ESSENCE/MICHAEL B. JORDAN MBJ
ESSENCE: With you having all these strong Black women in your life, how did your family respond to the rumors about you not dating Black women?
Jordan: My family and everybody laughed about it. It’s so funny to everybody because it couldn’t be further from the truth. Anybody who knows me, knows I like women, period. Especially my sisters. My dad and my mom both said “If they only knew.” If they only knew, that’s the thing that keeps me not tripping about it, you know what I mean? I’m human, and the thing about it that bothers me most is when it’s your own people who want to believe something that’s so far from the truth. You know what I’m saying? Look at my work. Look at what I do. Look at what I’m about as a person. Look at my upbringing, my culture, where I come from. How could I not love and appreciate my own race?
ESSENCE: Does it make you more hesitant, especially now, knowing this rumor is out there? Are you more conscious of who you might be seen with?
Jordan: Unfortunately, a little bit. It makes me hesitant about whoever I’m seen with. I’m finally starting to get to a place now where I don’t care, but it bothered me for a minute. It made me more conscious of things I say and how I move, and what could happen if I leave the club or a restaurant or the movies. If I leave anywhere, any known place with anybody, there’s going to be speculation. If it’s a woman, it’s going to be put under a microscope for everybody to pick apart and make the assumptions, and the trolls go at it, and all of a sudden it’s truth. It’s the cost of being in the position that I’m in. And you just got to be aware of it. It sucks, but it is what it is.
• ON WHAT HE LOOKS FOR IN A WOMAN: “The eyes, eyes are important to me. You can tell a lot. The eyes—they don’t tell lies. The neck, the hands. There’s something about a woman’s hands. It’s important. Of course, I’m interested in lips and body. [But] I’m not just looking for looks. I’m into the whole person. Also her smell, how the woman smells, it’s crucial…”
• ON BEING RAISED BY STRONG WOMEN: “…I’ve got a lot of strong women in my life: actors, producers, writers, friends, family, and if they ever need me for anything they could hit me up. I’m going to be there to support them.”
• ON HIS BLACK PANTHER “ERIK KILLMONGER” FANS: “…Because me and Ryan [Coogler]…put a lot of work into that character, and we wanted to represent a perspective that was never really put on screen before. The character, that’s real. Got some real pain and issues that a lot of people don’t relate to. And so to see people getting on Killmonger’s side, it makes me real proud…”