Michael B. Jordan Talks Taking Sundance By Storm In ‘Fruitvale’

At this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Dane DeHaan wasn’t the only “Chronicle” alum to make a big impression with the critics in Park City, Utah. His co-star and former “Friday Night Lights” star Michael B. Jordan led his Sundance entry “Fruitvale” to wins in both the Grand Jury and Audience prizes at the festival.

“Fruitvale” tells the tragic true story of a young Bay Area man whose life is cut short when he’s shot by a transit police officer. The incident set off a string of controversies, calling the true nature of the shooting into question.

What Jordan attempted to do with his role as Oscar Grant in “Fruitvale” was to honor his family and the memory of the man who got lost in the controversy.

“[This is my] first time at Sundance, first chance to soak up the energy and the vibe of Park City, and I was just nervous because the family of Oscar was there,” Jordan told MTV News. “That was the biggest pressure on me, doing something that they would be proud of. That was the first time they saw the movie. I sat right behind Oscar’s mom, checking in to see if she was crying or upset about anything. It was really cool. The audience received it well. We got a standing ovation. It was very heavy.”

For Jordan, bringing Grant’s story to the screen meant attempting to find the human element of what became a racial and political hot topic. “Whenever there’s an officer involved in a shooting, sometimes his character gets pulled in one direction or another. Either they’re going to make him out to be this monster,” Jordan said. “Every traffic ticket, every stolen fruit snack, everything is going to be brought up to make him seem like this evil guy, or you have the complete opposite. You have somebody trying to paint the perfect picture of this guy to make him some kind of a saint. In that push and pull, a lot of his character gets lost. We wanted to show his humanity.”