Michael B. Jordan is surely becoming one of the new “it” guys of his generation. Though he began acting during childhood, his roles in Creed, Fruitvale Station, and Black Panther have helped to solidify his staying power in Hollywood.
He acts, produces, and directs, but Jordan often takes a moment to reflect on his career journey. He once recalled an experience with Keanu Reeves that showed him a different side of celebrity.
Keanu Reeves and Michael B. Jordan were in ‘Hardball’ together
Before Michael B. Jordan scored acting credits for his roles in The Wire or All My Children, one of his earliest gigs was for 2001’s Hardball.
The film centered on a group of inner-city kids in Chicago who learned how to play baseball. Keanu Reeves’ ticket scalper character signed up to become their coach to clear up a gambling debt. He grows to the love the children on his team.
Jordan played Jamal, one of the older kids who was sadly kicked off the team after an opposing coach made a fuss about his age. Jamal reluctantly got sucked into the street life after that, hit a downward stride. The role helped Jordan spread his wings, but as a child actor, he also learned something from Reeves.
Jordan once said he was ‘astonished’ by Reeves
Jordan spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about the heartwarming baseball flick and remembered what it was like working with Reeves. When they filmed Hardball, Jordan was 13 and Reeves, 37. The Matrix actor didn’t put on any airs, and moreover, he showed the kids in the cast a good time.
“While we were in production, Keanu took the whole cast out to dinner and we had a chance to meet [his Matrix co-star] Laurence Fishburne,” Jordan told THR.
“To this day, I still remember thinking to myself in astonishment, ‘I guess this is what movie stars do — take their casts out to dinner with other big actors.’ So much respect for Keanu and Laurence. It really was such a cool moment with two of my heroes.”
Though Jordan hasn’t had the opportunity to work with Reeves since, — or Fishburne yet — never say never.
Reeves discussed ‘Hardball’ back in 2001
Shortly before the movie opened in theaters in September 2001, Reeves did a series of press interviews with some of his co-stars. When asked what drew him to the role of Conor O’Neill, he told Toronto’s Post-Gazette he liked the character’s redemption arc.
“I found the role to be a really good acting role because of how far it covers a range of emotion and sentiment. I liked the journey of redemption, where he does kind of find himself,” Reeves said.
He enjoyed working with his young castmates too. “I had a great time. I really enjoyed their company. I enjoyed their acting. … I really respected their focus and attention,” he added.
Jordan can currently be seen in Amazon Prime’s Without Remorse, and Reeves is busy filming the next John Wick sequel.
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