BFI London Film Fest

Michael B. Jordan – Just Mercy #LFF2019

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1 min. and 51 sec.

In the shoes of Civil Rights activist Bryan Stevenson.

Play Podcast
1 min. and 51 sec.
  1. PODCAST | Matt Micucci interviews Michael B. Jordanactor of the film A Just Mercy.

To listen to the interview, click on the ► icon on the right, just above the picture

A short interview with actor Michael B. Jordan, who portrays the role of Civil Rights activist, attorney Bryan Stevenson, in the film Just Mercy, directed by Destin Daniel Cretton and presented in the Debate strand of the 2019 BFI London Film Festival. In this interview, Jordan provides to us with a short introduction to Stevenson from his perspective, having lived “in his skin” for this movie, and answers whether he sees the role of the actor as an artist whose duty, in the words of Nina Simone, is to reflect the times.

Just Mercy: Fresh from Harvard Law School, fledgling attorney Bryan Stevenson (Jordan) defies the wishes of his parents, who are concerned about the notoriously racist South, when he ventures to Alabama to open a law practice to support death row inmates routinely denied proper legal counsel. Meeting with a variety of prisoners, Stevenson soon encounters Walter “Johnny D” McMillan (Foxx), a black man accused of the brutal murder of a white teenage girl, an allegation he vehemently denies, with numerous factors clearly supporting innocence. Despite Johnny D’s scepticism that he will be afforded due diligence by a corrupt system, Stevenson hires local advocate Eva Ansley (Brie Larson), and mounts an urgent case for a retrial, uncovering a chain of injustices and crucial oversights as they search for the truth. Adapted from Bryan Stevenson’s own bestselling memoir, director Destin Daniel Cretton’s methodical and interrogative approach paints a searing (and often infuriating) portrait of the fight for justice in the face of structural racism, which feels all-too timely nearly three decades after the case in question. Driven by powerhouse performances from Jordan and Foxx, who are ably supported by a stellar cast including Larson, Rafe Spall and O’Shea Jackson Jr, this is cinema at its most inspiring and essential.

To discover more about the film, click here.

  • Reporter
    Matt Micucci
  • Guest
    Michael B. Jordan
  • Interviewee role
    actor
  • Film title
    Just Mercy
  • Festival section
    Debate
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