Articles: “Getting into shape for 'Creed' was a year-long process,” says Michael B. Jordan




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By Samantha Ofole-Prince

as Rocky Balboa - Photo Credit- Barry Wetcher

A love story and a fight film, “Creed” is the classic tale of the underdog trying to prove himself. It weaves an interesting plot, explores relevant themes, sets up the exciting big fight and even finds time for a sincere, poignant romance.

The bare bones storyline follows Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Johnson, a humble character and the illegitimate son of heavyweight champ Apollo Creed, who was introduced in the 1976 hit film “Rocky.” Johnson never knew his famous father who died before he was born. Still, there’s no denying that boxing is in his blood, so he heads to Philadelphia, the site of Apollo Creed’s legendary match with Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) and eventually convinces Balboa to train him into a professional boxer.

Michael B Jordan is Adonis Johnson- photo courtesy of Warner Bros

“You think you’re in shape, you’re athletic, but you get in that ring and you realize how far you still have to go. I was slowly training here and there, between projects, until I could go full steam ahead,” Jordan says

Directed by Ryan Coogler (“Fruitvale Station”), the film evokes the gritty, old-school style of the earliest “Rocky” films while also forging its own modern-day identity and is a film that could appeal to an equal number of fans in both generations.

Despite taking place in the male-dominated world of boxing, there are compelling themes of love and hardship especially with a riveting romance between Johnson and Bianca (Tessa Thompson), a local singer- songwriter Adonis becomes involved with.

Jordan plays Adonis in Creed - Photo Credit- Barry Wetcher

It’s the age-old Cinderella story we’ve seen it many times before as we can all see a little of ourselves in “Creed.” Who hasn’t wished for that one chance, that one shot to stand up and be recognized?

Jordan gives the best performance of his career and has great chemistry with Stallone who puts him through an extensive training right down to the morning ritual of rising at four, drinking raw eggs, jump rope rituals and running several miles.

“The diet was the first thing,” Jordan continues. “A lot of people getting into shape don’t realize how much food and what food they put in their body has to do with what you look like. He had me cut down the sugars, bread, pasta, dairy, cheese. Gone. Out the window.”

What makes the movie extraordinary is that it doesn’t try to surprise audiences with any twists and complications. It’s a simple film about heroism, realizing your potential and taking your best shot.

With a heart-warming script, a cohesive cast playing characters of enormous appeal and charm Coogler has created a classic here.

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