Get your tissues ready, A Journal For Jordan will take you on an emotional journey like no other!
The film, directed by Denzel Washington, follows the real-life journey in the relationship between First Sergeant Charles Monroe King (Michael B. Jordan) and senior New York Times editor, Dana Canedy (Chanté Adams). The film is based on the memoir of the same name by Canedy, which was adapted for the big screen by Virgil Williams.
It’s the ultimate love story not only between King and Canedy, but the love of a father and son through a journal of love written for his infant son Jordan during King’s deployment to Iraq. The film showcases the importance of devotion, determination and development in a way that has never been seen before.
Ahead of the film's release, Shadow and Act spoke to Jordan, Adams, Canedy and Washington about the film and its themes.
"He was an honorable father, a dedicated father, a Black father, like so many Black fathers across this country who show up and are present for their children,” Canedy told S&A.
She is an American journalist, author, and currently serves as the Senior Vice President and Publisher of the Simon and Schuster imprint. Canedy first shared the story of the love of her life 1st Sgt. Charles Monroe in 2009 through the book, A Journal for Jordan: A Story of Love and Honor which included notes from the late soldier to his son.
Now that the story has been adapted for the big screen, she wants the world to also see King for the lover that he was.
“He was a humble man, a prayerful man, and a romantic man,” she continued. “My Charles was a sweetie pie. He was so shy and strong at the same time and it allowed me to let my guard down and fall for him.”
As the director of the film, Washington wanted the material to speak for itself.
“I didn’t want to put my mark on it,” he shared. “ This is bigger than that. It’s not my place to tell people [what they should get from it].”
He further explained his process for bringing Canedy and King’s story to life.
“You find a script and you get it right and the actors get involved and they get specific, Chanté and Dana pretty much talked on the phone every day,” Washington explained, “And the magic starts to happen and from there I started to back up and let them take over.”
Canedy is portrayed by Adams, who knew that there were big shoes to fill in sharing a story that is near and dear to the hearts of many.
Luckily, the real Dana Canedy was there to support her every step of the way.
“She made herself available and open to me from day one,” shared Adams. “From our first conversation she just told me, ‘I’m an open book, you can ask me anything you want, no matter how personal.’”
Adams took advantage of that advice and over time developed a close relationship with Canedy.
“I took advantage of [her offer], but tried to be mindful of her time towards the beginning,” she continued. “But by the time that we started filming, I was probably on the phone with her every day and I was just like ‘this woman has a full-time job,’ but she always made time for me so I was very grateful for that.”
With life comes loss, and 'A Journal For Jordan' is a testament to that.
“I think this story has so much promise,” explained Jordan who took on the role as King. “A loving bright future got ripped away from this family out of nowhere.”
It’s this very sentiment that encouraged Jordan to change his approach to the relationships in his own life.
“Sometimes we forget, in our day-to-day struggle or our day-to-day journey or that day-to-day grind, the importance of time and how precious it is,” he expressed. “Spend time with the people that you love and you care about and make sure they feel it because tomorrow isn’t promised. It made me go back to my own personal life and my own relationships and family and friends to make sure that I loved them a bit harder [to] make them feel it when I’m around. That’s what I took away from this story.”
A Journal For Jordan will be available exclusively in theaters on Christmas Day.
Watch the interview below: