Michael B. Jordan bulked up his physique for the Creed sequel because he didn’t want to be embarrassed stepping into the ring with real-life boxer Florian Munteanu.
The Black Panther star reprises his role as Adonis Johnson, aka Adonis Creed, in the latest installment of the Rocky franchise, and he was determined to pack on 20 pounds (nine kilograms) of pure muscle before filming began.
“I put on about 20 pounds for this one,” he told U.S. breakfast show Good Morning America. “My opponent in this one is huge, he’s about 6’5, 250 pounds, so I just wanted to look close!”
Munteanu portrays the villain Viktor Drago, whose father Ivan, played by Dolph Lundgren, killed Adonis’ dad Apollo in the ring in 1985’s Rocky IV, and Jordan promises sports fans Creed 2 will be an “exciting” addition to the movie series.
“We just wanted to build on the characters and the relationships we created in the story that we created in the first movie… and be able to do things fresh and do things that you haven’t seen in a boxing film before,” he shared.
“We really tried to really keep things honest and organic and keep things exciting at the same time.”
Michael is no stranger to adopting a strict diet and fitness regimen to boost his muscles for the camera, after previously transforming his body for his first outing as Adonis, and then for his role as Erik ‘Killmonger’ Stevens in Black Panther, but it’s not something he takes pleasure in doing.
“I love food. To take away all the food that I love, and to give me boiled chicken, broccoli, rice, fish and asparagus consistently is a little brutal,” he complained to Men’s Fitness magazine prior to Creed’s 2015 release. “I would say bulking up was the hardest thing because I had to eat a bunch of stuff that I didn’t enjoy.”
Creed 2, which also features the return of Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa, opens in theatres next week (21Nov18).
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