Tag Archive: michael b jordan


 

Malcolm X kidding around with Muhammad Ali, New York, 1963

Another rotation around the sun nearly complete.  I’ve lived long enough to exist in Trump’s America.

Hooray…

Nearly all of us in life, will experience some personal and professional setbacks that screws up our plans.  I’ve lost more than one job, not from being fired but because the company as a whole went bankrupt.  I’ve had my fair share of family drama that crushed my spirit to the point of making me stop living my own life, so to speak.  In that way, I’m not unique in the slightest.

What makes me unique, at least in terms of identity politics, are my racial and religious identities.  In the Q&A I recently participated in, I was asked the question, ‘Do I feel being a Muslim has impacted my career?’  I’m paraphrasing, but my answer was ‘Probably.’

In my 20s, I worked at the Playboy Mansion, and had my own office on the Sony lot.  In the next phase, I’ve gotten to work with Issa Rae and Michael B. Jordan in their ascension, before they showed up on magazine covers.  So let’s be absolutely clear on this: I will never look at my life and say ‘Woe is me.’

But the answer is still ‘Probably’.  I can look back at both my personal life and my professional life, and see I’ve had more than a few opportunities to get to ‘the end.’  But the tradeoff if I would have made different choices had the feeling of crossing a point of no return in my relationships to my black friends.  Or to my Muslim friends.  Or both.

So I’ve sucked it up, and chosen to take the long way to achieve my goals.

I’ve leveled up in the last 365 days.  It didn’t literally take 20 years but it certainly feels that way.  I’ve noticed my mood swings one of three ways.  Most days I’m good; my ambition is more than enough to keep me focused on the next hurdle I aim to climb and what I need to do next.  On the good days, I can take pride in how far I’ve been able to go without destroying what I believe in.  On the bad days, I feel anger and resentment that I have to constantly hold myself and my decision making abilities to this Obama-esque level of near perfection.  My bad decisions aren’t as easily forgotten, my flaws aren’t shrugged off by either majority community that I respect but I’m not going out of my way to placate either.  The Game is the Game, but at this point I can see I will have a chip on my shoulder the rest of my days.  It is what it is.

At the end of the day though, I’ve fought and hustled and worked myself into a position where I get to live my life on my terms.  Not for one second do I take that for granted. Not for one second do I not recognize how rare that feeling is for anyone, let alone someone of my background.

I’m grateful and at peace with how much my life is the anomaly.  My fire still burns strong and I look forward to seeing what else I can achieve with the rest of my days.

Onward.

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CHRIS: And here to present the next two awards, here is Academy Award nominee Emma Stone, and the Associate Producer of ‘Trojan War,’ Malik Aziz!

(audience applause as they take the stage)

EMMA: An outlaw trying to survive in a room of seven Hateful men. A woman supporting and coming to grips with her husband’s changing sexual identity.  A partner trying to reel in one of the greatest creative minds of the last century. A few of the great performances from this year.

MALIK: That’s right! And you know what else they all have in common?

EMMA: (awkwardly fidgeting) Um…what?

MALIK: They’re all nominated tonight for Best Supporting Actress!

EMMA: (relieved) Yes. Yes!

MALIK: Wait, what did you think I was going to say?

EMMA: Nothing. Nothing.

Here are the nominees for Best Actress in a Supporting Role:

Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight

Rooney Mara – Carol

Rachel McAdams – Spotlight

Alicia Viklander – the Danish Girl

Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs

Who Should Win: Probably Jennifer Jason Leigh.

Who Will Win: One of this year’s ‘It Girls: Viklander

Who I’m Cheering For: A small chance based on the movie that McAdams wins, and she’s pretty solid in everything (including last year’s True Detective).

Here are the nominees for Best Actor in a Supporting Role:

Christian Bale – The Big Short

Tom Hardy – The Revenant

Mark Ruffalo – Spotlight

Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies

Sylvester Stallone – Creed

Who Should Win: Hmmm.  I could make a case for Ruffalo. I could make a case for Rocky.

Who Will Win: Everything’s lined up for Sly, and if Mike and Ryan are happy for him then I am too (I guess).

Who I’m Cheering For: 

‘The Screen Guild Awards’

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I don’t know who/if there’s a A-list movie or TV star in this cast, but I’ll be damned if between the writing and the cast this hasn’t been an above average SNL season.

Consistently good at ‘raising the stakes’ on the skits; and it seems like they’ve been more willing than they have in recent years to go for hot button issues.

Enjoy!

TrojanWarAaron

No song this weekend. I haven’t made this announcement here yet but…

Our 30 for 30 ‘Trojan War’ is now available on iTunes, Amazon, and Netflix.  For those of you outside the U.S. (or without cable), you can watch our film anytime and nearly anywhere you please.

That’s your weekend homework, enjoy!

mclooney

So ‘Trojan War’ is done and a living product now, officially.  It’s been a great ride, a ton of memories I’ll never forget, chief among them the outpouring of support.

I love my people.  In every possible way that statement can be interpreted. Beyond the superficial links between us, that sense of ‘take care of the people who take care of you’ is a common value that binds me and Aaron.  Somewhat ironically, it’s cut both ways the past few weeks.  I’ve pumped up the film and its players every chance I got leading up to the premiere (as most of you saw).

The flip side of that is choosing to be quiet publicly as (in no particular order) Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and Quentin Tarantino have…gotten my attention. If any of their news is still relevant next week (likely), we can address it then.  For one, this week has been about having fun and reminiscing about a great time to be a Trojan.  And two; sure nobody is interviewing me or quoting me today.  But I personally saw twice (TWICE!), conversations I’ve had with people on this project, where the context was clear, then the exact same thing is repeated word for word, to a reporter, put (and edited) in print, and turned into something else.  (One of them you can probably guess with little difficulty). So again, even if, in all likelihood me talking anything political would have never been picked up…why take a chance on being an unnecessary distraction?  One thing I must admit I like about being ‘on’ all the time, is that it’s made me fast-forward to acting like ‘the best version of Malik Aziz’ now, instead of waiting on being ‘big-time’ and then trying to clean up my act. More ‘hey Malik is this thoughtful and intellectual and passionate film geek’, less ‘man Malik retweets a lot of those booty clapping videos’ (half joking).

(In terms of the one relevant news item you can connect to the film; what started as a bitter, season ticket holder sniping has turned into ‘Alright, get him out of here, but if he really is drinking his life away, get him help.  We’ll use the rest of this season to figure out who should lead the program.  We’re full strength now.’)

Moving forward, ‘Trojan War’ is the biggest, flashiest project I’ve been a part of.  I’ll always point to it as something I’m proud of.  In terms of my endgame, it’s a door, a gateway, a bridge to tell other stories I’m passionate about.

As much as anything, the personal validation of knowing there’s a way for me to get what I want without making compromises I’m completely uncomfortable with, means as much to me as the professional validation.

So what exactly am I planning next?

Well, I’m not talking about that. Yet…

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Overwhelmed.

Aaron and I have both watched ‘Trojan War’ repeatedly before tonight; there was a ‘USC premiere’ and a ‘Hollywood premiere’ last week, so we both felt good about how the ‘core demographic’ would react.  But still…

This week, and today especially, the sheer number of you who reposted, retweeted, and otherwise spread the word about the film coming on has been completely humbling.  I’m pretty sure this is the first time I’m not even going to try to name names because there were so many it would be a guarantee I would forget someone.

Homies from high school, family of course. Old teachers who pushed me in the right direction. The boys from the college days that swiftly passed.  Acting friends and industry friends, both still trying to break in, and well established.  My people from every day job I’ve ever held down while I pursue my dreams. You know, but you don’t completely realize how many people are cheering for you until something like this goes down, and everyone tells you in their own way how proud they are of you.

I know what I just said about naming names, but I should thank the people whose names and faces you heard and saw who made ‘Trojan War’ what it is: everybody at ESPN for letting us be a part of this, Keyshawn Johnson, Shelley Smith, Dylann Tharp, Joe Perracchio, Mario Diaz, Michael B. Jordan, Matt Leinart, Lendale White, Pete Carroll.  To name a few.

As far as you go Aaron…I’ll let Coach Vermeil take it from here…

Today was a good day.

Mike

About that time, gang.

But first, here’s Aaron delivering his Director Statement on ‘Trojan War.’

Fight On!

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:13845718

Coming Soon – ‘Creed’

mikejordan

MAN…

MAN…

‘Creed’

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Ryan and Mike teaming up again? I’m in.

And ‘Rocky Balboa’ was one of the better movies in the Rocky series in my opinion.  If they keep that general tone…

Young King

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In case you missed it, here’s the full essay from my future movie son Michael B. Jordan to the people who have a problem with him portraying a popular fictional character.

http://www.ew.com/article/2015/05/22/michael-b-jordan-fantastic-four-race

Get em Young Man!