Director Denzel Washington, writer Dana Canedy and actors Michael B. Jordan and Chanté Adams talk about telling the story of a military family in Journal for Jordan, and Michael B. Jordan shares his thoughts on his first nude scene.
(SINGING) What you want but not what you need.
CHARLES KING: I want to see more of your city.
DANA CANEDY: I want to see more of your city. I'll take your state, your zip code. Mmm.
ETHAN ALTER: So I had to ask, you have a bit of rear nudity in this film.
MICHAEL B. JORDAN: Get right to it. Let's do it. Let's get right to it. Yeah.
ETHAN ALTER: Was that a tense day on set for you? What was that day like having to film that?
MICHAEL B. JORDAN: It's very respectful. Obviously with nudity or anything like that, they're closed sets, and everybody does everything humanly possible to make sure that actors are safe and comfortable and all that good stuff. But you just got to go for it, actually. It's not really a lot. If you overthink it, you won't do it, you know what I'm saying?
So Maryse Alberti was our DP our Director of Photography. And the story that Denzel tells during this intimate lovemaking scene, he was like as a woman, where would you want to put the camera? Like, how do you photograph this? How do you capture this? He's like where would you put the camera? And she was like on Michael B's butt. And I was like, all right.
CHANTE ADAMS: Any time you film a love scene and it's done properly, it's a closed set. And so, it's only the people that absolutely need to be there. No extra people, no video monitors on. They want to make it as intimate as possible, but also protect the actors.
So, of course, we knew that it was going to be a very fun scene for everyone else. But as actors and as people coming to work that day, we have to treat it as something very serious. And we always do.
ETHAN ALTER: Mr. Washington, I appreciated that you went from being in "A Soldier's Story" to directing this "Soldier's Story." It feels like a great evolution for you. Have your views on military service changed over the years?
DANA CANEDY: Yes. Yes. I had the opportunity to make at least a half a dozen films about soldiers and spend a lot of time with them and understand the sacrifices that they make for us to be free, you know? When you walk around Arlington Cemetery, it's 250,000 stones, but they're 450,000 people, their wives, daughters, and sons.
So I love and appreciate what these women and men have done, the sacrifice that they have made for us to be free. And at this point in my career, if you will, I am grateful for the opportunity to celebrate them and to lift up real love.
ETHAN ALTER: Playing Charles, playing a military man, what did it teach you about being a soldier and what they sacrifice?
MICHAEL B. JORDAN: It taught me a lot. I played soldiers before. And my dad being a Marine and having friends and family who have served, I've always heard stories and been around the military in some way, shape, or form. So to be able to portray Charles, a Drill Sergeant, you just take all of those experiences and memories and you just want to do the best job you can to portray this man and do his story justice. So yeah, man. It played a big part in that and I couldn't be prouder.
CHANTE ADAMS: Our soldiers who are fighting in the war are truly protecting this country, and hat's off to them. But also, the spouses who are holding them up, the partners who are holding them up go through so, so much. So, honestly, I developed such a respect and such a love for them that I just was ignorant about previously before doing this project.
ETHAN ALTER: And seeing the film now, what was your experience watching it? To be able to sort of reliving your own life and also Charles's life.
DANA CANEDY: I thought it was beautiful, first of all. You can see in the film all the work that went into it from Denzel, Chante, Mike, and really taking the time to get to know us and understand the nuances of our lives and our story and our personalities. And so what you walk away with, I believe, is a film that has its sad moments, but it's really uplifting, it's funny in many places, but that reinforces the power of love and the notion that love lives on.