‘All My Children’ Fired Chadwick Boseman When He Complained About His Stereotypical Character (And Replaced Him With Michael B. Jordan)
Black Panther co-stars Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan already had a connection before appearing in the Marvel film: they once both played the same role. Boseman worked for a week on the soap opera All My Children, only to be fired after he voiced objections to the racial stereotypes inherent to his character. After his dismissal, Jordan was brought in to fill the part.
It’s no secret that Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan both played the same part on All My Children – anyone could look that up on IMDb. But we now know exactly what happened, thanks to a recent Wrap interview with Boseman and Jordan. According to Boseman, he had problems with how the character – Reggie Montgomery – was written. Specifically, he thought the character was too much of a racial stereotype.
“When I got it, I was like, ‘This is not part of my manifesto. This is not part of what I want to do. How can I make it work?’” Boseman says in the interview. “Because with a soap opera, you don’t know the full scope of what’s gonna happen — you don’t know where they’re gonna take the character, because they don’t always know where the character is going. And because of that, there’s possibly room for me to adjust this and change it and make it so it’s stereotypical on the page but not on the screen.”
Boseman voiced his concerns, which resulted in him losing the part. Jordan, who was coming off a role on The Wire, then got the job. But there’s a silver lining here: according to Boseman, even though All My Children fired him, they also used some of the suggestions he made about the character. “They said, ‘You are too much trouble,’ but they took my suggestions, or some of them. And for me, honestly, that’s what this is about.”
“I’m younger than Chad, and I was coming into All My Children fresh off The Wire — wide open, still learning,” Jordan adds. “I was playing this role not knowing that a lot of the things I was going through were because of what he’d already done for me.”
And of course, we all know what eventually happened: the two actors went on to become superstars, appearing in Marvel movies and more. “It’s hard to speak in the moment about how things we do can affect other people. But this is a pure example, right here on the spot,” Jordan adds. “[T]o understand how what people do now can directly affect what other people do in the future. And the work that we’re doing on Black Panther is hopefully doing the same thing for the next group of actors that are coming up.”
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