Michael B. Jordan began 2020 with an optimistic and hopeful outlook. In unearthed footage from a 2019 interview with our editorial director, Jessica Bailey, Jordan talks about how he was inspired to live his life a little bit more in line with the values of US lawyer, Bryan Stevenson, the man he played in the stirring film Just Mercy. And given the year the actor just had, it’s worth a revisit.
For the uninitiated, Just Mercy follows a young Stevenson (Jordan) as he arrives in Alabama in the late 1980s to help get Walter McMillan (played superbly by Jamie Foxx) off death row after being wrongfully convicted of murder. As Jordan told us, it was a life-changing role and Stevenson’s clear-sightedness and compassion were attributes the then-32-year-old Black Panther actor wanted to take into 2020. He also admired Stevenson’s determination to keep pushing on a personal and professional level.
“At the end of the year, everybody wants to set some new goals. Everybody wants to be like, ‘New year, new me’ and a month later we’re back in the same routine,” Jordan said. “For me, it’s just about being very hopeful and setting the bar really high. Being ambitious and not being afraid to fail and take some big swings.”
“[Stevenson] wants to outwork people, he wants to work hard and know everything he needs to know in order to get this man out of this circumstance,” Jordan continued. “And if I apply that to my life – which is nothing compared to what he’s doing – I feel like I could be in an OK place.”
Take a look at the moment here.
And an OK place he seems to be. In 2020 alone, Jordan became one of the world’s most sought after leading men, both on-screen and off. He became the face of COACH, was named People’s Sexiest Man Alive, was included in the TIME 100, and was a pivotal figure in the Black Lives Matter movement.
Plus, on a personal level, he found love.
After revealing he was single and looking in a mid-year interview with People, Jordan met Lori Harvey, the 24-year-old daughter of American TV announcer, Steve Harvey. After dating quietly for a few months over the Christmas period, Harvey and Jordan confirmed their romance to the world on Sunday, posting loved-up photos of each other on their social media channels. Then, just a few days later, Jordan posted yet another couple’s photo and video to celebrate his girlfriend’s 24th birthday.
Though it might seem like these two are moving fast – Jordan confirmed he was single in an interview that was released in November (but likely conducted earlier) and Harvey was linked to her ex-boyfriend Future in August – given that everything Jordan touches seems to turn to gold, we’d say he has a pretty good read on relationships.
The above quotes about “setting the bar really high” in 2020 look a whole lot like proof that manifestation is real right about now… Time for some big swings.