TORONTO — Actor Michael B. Jordan says before committing to a project, one of the things he considers is whether his character will live or die.
The star of “Just Mercy,” which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on Friday, says early in his career he took several roles that didn’t seem like stereotypes at the time, because the characters had so much emotional currency.
But his mother couldn’t bear to watch him play another young black man who met an untimely end, says Jordan, whose credits include “Fruitvale Station” and “The Wire.”
Jordan says he started seeking out different roles not only to spare his parents grief, but so audiences would see him as a leading man.
In “Just Mercy,” not only does his character survive all three acts, but fights to save another man’s life.
Jordan plays civil rights defence lawyer Bryan Stevenson, whom he called a “superhero in real life.”
The Alabama-set courtroom drama also stars Jamie Foxx as wrongly imprisoned Walter McMillian, who in 1988 was sentenced to death for the murder of a young white woman. McMillian was exonerated in 1993.
THE CANADIAN PRESS