Why Michael B. Jordan wanted to only audition for roles written for white men

During their interview for Variety‘s “Actors on Actors,” presented by Shutterstock, “Fahrenheit 451” star Michael B. Jordan told “Insecure’s” Issa Rae that after he finished working on “Fruitvale Station,” he told his agents that he didn’t want to audition for roles written for African-Americans.

“I said, I don’t want it. I want to only go for, like, [roles written for] white males. That’s it,” he said. “Me playing that role is going to make it what it is. I don’t want any pre-bias on the character.”

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Michael B. Jordan out and about
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Michael B. Jordan out and about
NEW ORLEANS, LA - JULY 08: Michael B. Jordan speaks onstage during the 2018 Essence Festival on July 8, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Essence)
US actor Michael B. Jordan poses as he arrives on May 12, 2018 for the screening of the film 'Farenheit 451' at the 71st edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France. (Photo by LOIC VENANCE / AFP) (Photo credit should read LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images)
SANTA MONICA, CA - JUNE 16: Actors Olivia Munn (L) and Michael B. Jordan attend the 2018 MTV Movie And TV Awards at Barker Hangar on June 16, 2018 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 12: US actor Michael B. Jordan attends the photocall for the 'Farenheit 451' during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 12, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Venturelli/WireImage)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 12: Michael B. Jordan attends the screening of 'Farenheit 451' during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 12, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 12: Michael B. Jordan attends Marvel Studios Presents: Black Panther Welcome To Wakanda during February 2018 New York Fashion Week: The Shows at Industria Studios on February 12, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 16: Michael B. Jordan plays during the 2018 NBA All-Star Game Celebrity Game at Los Angeles Convention Center on February 16, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 13: Michael B. Jordan attends the Calvin Klein fashion show during New York Fashion Week at the American Stock Exchange Building on February 13, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 13: Michael B Jordan is seen arriving at Good Morning America on February 13, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 13: Michael B. Jordan visits at SiriusXM Studios on February 13, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 13: Actor Michael B. Jordan attends the screening of Marvel Studios' 'Black Panther' hosted by The Cinema Society on February 13, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 13: Danai Gurira, Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong'o and Michael B. Jordan take part in SiriusXM's Town Hall with the cast of Black Panther hosted by SiriusXM's Sway Calloway on February 13, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Michael B. Jordan is a guest on 'Good Morning America,' Tuesday, February 13, 2018, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) MICHAEL STRAHAN, ROBIN ROBERTS, MICHAEL B. JORDAN, GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, LARA SPENCER
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 12: Michael B Jordan seen on the streets of Manhattan on February 12, 2018 in New York, NY. (Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 12: Michael B. Jordan is seen on February 12, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by MediaPunch/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 08: Michael B. Jordan attends the European Premiere of 'Black Panther' at Eventim Apollo on February 8, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 05: Actor Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, and Chadwick Boseman(Left to Right) arrive at the red carpet of the Seoul premiere of 'Black Panther' on February 5, 2018 in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo by Han Myung-Gu/Getty Images for Disney)
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 05: Actor Michael B. Jordan attends the press conference for the Seoul premiere of 'Black Panther' on February 5, 2018 in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo by Han Myung-Gu/Getty Images for Disney)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 30: Actors Michael B. Jordan (L) and Chadwick Boseman attend the Marvel Studios' BLACK PANTHER Global Junket Press Conference on January 30, 2018 at Montage Beverly Hills in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Michael B Jordan attends the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Black Panther' - Arrivals on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 15: Michael B. Jordan speaks onstage during the 49th NAACP Image Awards at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on January 15, 2018 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Maury Phillips/Getty Images for NAACP )
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 18: Michael B. Jordan and Anthony Anderson attend the NBA All-Star Game 2018 at Staples Center on February 18, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - DECEMBER 08: Michael B. Jordan attends Well+Good at American Express Platinum House at Miami Beach EDITION on December 8, 2017 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for American Express Platinum)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 05: Abbie Cornish and Michael B. Jordan attend Piaget Celebrates Brand Ambassador Michael B. Jordan In Support Of Lupus LA at Piaget on October 5, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Piaget)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 17: Michael B. Jordan and Chadwick Boseman attend the 2018 State Farm All-Star Saturday Night at Staples Center on February 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 08: Michael B. Jordan attends the European Premiere of 'Black Panther' at Eventim Apollo on February 8, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage)
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Rae also opened up about the positive change that seems to be overtaking Hollywood’s perception of what a leading actress looks like following the success of movies like “Black Panther.” She that said early on in her career, her agents would send roles to her that Rae doubted she’d be able to land because of her race.

“If it were a leading woman of a certain type, I just knew the type that they would go for, so I’m just not going to even bother,” Rae said. “People have been receptive. Even just the confidence that a movie like [“Black Panther”] and other films by other filmmakers of color that have come out have really just changed what people perceive as a leading lady, as the beautiful person, the daring or the bold action-adventure type. That just feels so dope to me.”

The Emmy Award-winning series will air in two episodes on PBS SoCal KOCE, the first on Tuesday, June 19 at 7 p.m. and the second on Thursday, June 21 at 7 p.m. Both episodes will stream on pbssocal.org following their premieres.

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