“I didn’t know what to expect,” "said Creed" star Michael B Jordan, who plays Adonis, during an interview at The Saxon on Monday.
“But just walking into it and feeling all the love and all the fans showing up and supporting this movie was incredible. It was a warm reception and it felt really good.”
This is Jordan’s second time in South Africa and first time in Joburg, his first visit having been to Cape Town a few years ago for the shooting of "The Thomas Crown Affair".
A sequel to Creed (and the eighth instalment in the Rocky film series), "Creed II" is one of the year’s blockbuster films. Though it’s essentially a boxing movie, Creed 2 is centred around the intricacies of a bitter rivalry between two families, the Creeds and Dragos, a rivalry that started when Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) killed Adonis’s father in the ring in the 1985 epic Rocky IV.
The fight sequences are brilliant and brutal. But the emotion in the film’s plot is what makes it special.
There are three really major fights in this movie, and the physical prep as well as getting the fight sequences on point was one of the most challenging aspects for Jordan.
“It took a couple of months to craft the choreography and the fight sequences and build the trust and the bond between me and Florian (Munteanu, who plays Drago's son Viktor).”
Jordan also found joy working with talented young director Steven Caple Jr.
“It was awesome. He’s very intelligent and cares about the character, the story. Me, Tessa, Syl, as far as our characters are concerned, he really wanted to collaborate with us and figure out where our characters are going.”
Caple Jr, who has made one previous movie feature, 2016’s "The Land," talked about the process of making this, the biggest project of his career thus far.
“It has been insane, like the travelling and obviously pushing the movie out there. And insofar as making the film, it was tough, rigorous, like any other time we’re trying to make a movie.
“The fundamentals and basic storytelling things are the same. So I felt comfortable in that area. What makes it difficult being on this scale is that it is bigger in expectations.”
Is Jordan anxious about the response to the film?
“I’m always anxious with something that’s so personal. So much of my time and effort, my heart, blood, sweat and tears go into making a movie. It’s really personal.”