Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan were known for butting heads and vying for Wakanda's throne in Black Panther. However, long before they squared up in their respective roles as T'Challa and Erik Killmonger, the two actors crossed paths in the world of soap operas.
Back in 2003, both Boseman and Jordan appeared on the ABC soap All My Children as the same character. Shortly after Black Panther's premiere, we told you all how Boseman took on the role of Reggie Montgomery, a troubled teen adopted by the iconic character Erica Kane (Susan Lucci), before being fired. Jordan then took over the role of Reggie, which he played for 3 years before leaving the now-defunct soap opera in 2006. In a cover story for The Wrap, both actors reflected on their time on the soap, the nature of Boseman's firing and the cosmic irony surrounding the casting.
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Boseman revealed that he was abruptly terminated from All My Children after just one week on the job when he voiced valid opinions on the stereotypical nature of his character.
"It’s one of those things where you get a role, and you don’t really know,” he said. “When I got it, I was like, ‘This is not part of my manifesto. This is not part of what I want to do. How can I make it work?’ Because with a soap opera, you don’t know the full scope of what’s gonna happen — you don’t know where they’re gonna take the character, because they don’t always know where the character is going. And because of that, there’s possibly room for me to adjust this and change it and make it so it’s stereotypical on the page but not on the screen.”
Boseman noted how he does believe that him speaking out impacted how the character was written and portrayed for Jordan's stint in the role. “I remember going home and thinking, ‘Do I say something to them about this? Do I just do it?’ And I couldn’t just do it. I had to voice my opinions and put my stamp on it. And the good thing about it was, it changed it a little bit for him... .They said, ‘You are too much trouble,’ but they took my suggestions, or some of them. And for me, honestly, that’s what this is about.”
Jordan said, “It’s so wild to hear you say that. I’m younger than Chad, and I was coming into All My Children fresh off The Wire, — wide open, still learning. I was playing this role not knowing that a lot of the things I was going through were because of what he’d [Boseman] already done for me." He continued, "It’s hard to speak in the moment about how things we do can affect other people. But this is a pure example, right here on the spot — we ain’t never talked about this before a day in our lives — to understand how what people do now can directly affect what other people do in the future," Jordan said. "And the work that we’re doing on ‘Black Panther’ is hopefully doing the same thing for the next group of actors that are coming up, just like our predecessors opened up doors and made things easier for us.”