2024 NAACP Image Awards: 7 Key Roles that Define Michael B. Jordan's Career

Dive into all of the career-defining TV and movie roles that skyrocketed Jordan to superstardom, from HBO’s “The Wire” to the blockbuster “Creed” franchise.

Hollywood heartthrob Michael B. Jordan has been winning the hearts of TV and film audiences for over twenty years now. In his youth, he transitioned from a child model to a full-blown actor, starting his lengthy career with appearances in some of the most iconic shows in television history, like HBO’s The Sopranos and The Wire. Fast-forward to today, Jordan is an A-list movie star who’s also added director and producer titles to his impressive résumé.

Jordan built a name for himself in the entertainment industry with his knack for delivering moving, charismatic onscreen performances. He continues to impress the masses with his multifaceted talents, like directing the third installment of the Creed franchise, a career first. For that, the actor has earned many accolades, including recognition from the NAACP Image Awards. In honor of his nominations at this year’s ceremony, take a look at the seven key roles that shaped his celebrated career.

  • The Wire

    In 2002, a young Jordan starred in HBO’s The Wire as Wallace, a naive drug dealer who worked under kingpin Stringer Bell (Idris Elba). Though his role was short-lived, the actor gave an outstanding breakout performance that put him on the map in Hollywood.

  • All My Children

    Jordan switched things up after his stint on The Wire, starring in the daytime soap All My Children from 2003 to 2006. In the TV drama, he played the role of Reggie Porter Montgomery, a troubled youth adopted by former district attorney Jackson Montgomery (Walt Willey). Funny enough, Jordan’s Black Panther costar, the late Chadwick Boseman, originated the part before stepping away because of the character’s “thuggish” racial stereotypes.

  • Friday Night Lights

    From 2009 to 2011, Jordan starred as star quarterback Vince Howard in the Emmy-winning teen drama Friday Night Lights, in which he gave heart-tugging performances. Out of all his castmates, Jordan saw the most meteoric rise after the show, proving he had the makings of being a star.

  • Fruitvale Station

    Ryan Coogler’s Fruitvale Station is arguably the movie role that shot Jordan to superstardom, as it was his first time leading a film. The actor took on the heartbreaking true story of Oscar Grant, a Black man who was tragically shot dead by police in 2009, humanizing the Bay Area resident's final hours before his death. Jordan’s breakthrough performance in the biographical film earned him numerous nominations and is still considered one of his best to date.

  • Just Mercy

    In between the MCU and his Creed films, Jordan starred in the biographical legal drama Just Mercy alongside Oscar winner Jamie Foxx. The film, an adaptation of civil rights defense attorney Bryan Stevenson’s 2014 memoir of the same name, saw Jordan portray the lawyer who defends a Black man (Foxx) wrongfully convicted of murdering a young white woman. Jordan also co-produced the movie, which won him an NAACP Image Award in 2020.

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