Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger Scars for ‘Black Panther’ Took Nearly 3 Hours To Apply Each Day
2018’s blockbuster film Black Panther will remain one of Marvel’s most memorable films for a long time. The star-studded cast, including the likes of Michael B. Jordan, Angela Bassett, and the now-deceased Chadwick Boseman, delivered powerful performances that helped the film become one of the highest-grossing films of all time.
Although all of the stars in the film were praised for their performances, Jordan, in particular, was applauded for his harrowing portrayal of Erik Killmonger, the film’s central antagonist. His preparation for the role has been well-documented, as he claimed he went into deep isolation and worked out for a year and a half to deliver a believable on-screen performance.
Part of this preparation also included the makeup required for his Killmonger costume, which apparently took nearly 3 hours to complete every day!
Michael B. Jordan spent significant time preparing for the Killmonger role
It’s a known fact that many actors spend months preparing for their roles, both physically and mentally. Method actors, in particular, tend to put themselves through unusual experiences in an attempt to better relate to the characters they are portraying, and Jordan tends to follow this notion.
Jordan went out of his way to better acclimate himself with the Killmonger role in the months leading up to production and hasn’t been shy about revealing this. He spent months in solitude and worked out extensively to prepare for his performance, according to Metro.co.uk.
“I spent a lot of time alone. Erik’s a very lonely guy, a very pained character so that’s part of it,” Jordan said. “And also like physically preparing for it, working out, training, it was kind of a Swiss army knife of a lot of different skill sets. So training for about a year and half before we started filming really helped with the preparation for the role.”
His Killmonger Scars took nearly 3 hours to apply each day
One of the more memorable parts of Killmonger’s appearance was the signature scars that riddled his body. Signifying every kill he’d acquired over his lifetime, the scars were clearly visible every time Jordan took his shirt off on-screen.
Apparently, these scars took an extremely long time to apply to his body, requiring several hours a day to install. According to Insider, “The […] actor spent around two-and-a-half hours in the makeup chair to get 90 raised marks placed on his body every day.” The “scarification” process entailed “transferring each mold and then blending and painting them to match Jordan’s skin tone.”
The scars were inspired by Denzel Washington’s role in ‘Glory’
Jordan revealed that the idea for the scarring actually came from a role one of his idols, Denzel Washington, played in the 1989 Civil War drama Glory. According to CinemaBlend, Jordan revealed this truth while honoring Washington during the 47th AFI Life Achievement Gala.
“I remember hearing stories about you and I heard stories that when you were huddled around the campfire in that film [Glory], you weren’t supposed to be shirtless but you still had the scars put on your back, so you could feel it, so you could know that’s what your character’s been through. I tell you right now tonight, brother, that’s the only reason why Killmonger, when I played that role, I had those scars, even when I wasn’t shirtless — because of you. So I want to say thank you for that.”
Sometimes method actors tend to go a little overboard when it comes to preparation, but it’s a good thing Jordan didn’t let this role get the best of him for too long.