Returning to the ring as boxer Adonis Johnson in Creed II, Michael B. Jordan’s goal was to get as shredded and lean as possible. “I worked out maybe three or four times a day. I ate four to five times a day,” the star tells Us of his brown rice, chicken and broccoli diet. “I just really wanted to be defined. I wanted to evolve on the look that we gave on Creed I, and really raise the bar this time around.”
There was just one thing that nearly derailed his plan: Philly cheesesteaks. “We shot in Philly, so I think a Philly cheesesteak was my go-to cheat meal,“ the star, 31, jokes with Us, adding that the giant meat-and-cheese hoagie was the first thing he ate once the Philadelphia film wrapped.
His trainer from Creed II and Black Panther, Corey Calliet, confirms the star’s indulgence: “Cheesesteak. I’m talking about every day,” the Revenge Body pro told Us at the movie’s NYC premiere on Wednesday, November 14. “Not every day, but every time I gave him a cheat meal, and I think he did eat something when he wasn’t supposed to — maybe when I went to sleep, he probably had a cheesesteak because he was up kind of late. Michael loves cheesesteak.”
It’s not the only high-calorie food Jordan loves. “Mike likes to eat everything,” added Calliet at the premiere, which had its afterparty at the Rainbow Room in 30 Rockefeller Plaza. “Michael likes to eat different stuff all the time. He’s like, ‘I want to eat all of this right now for breakfast.’ All kinds of breakfast stuff. He is like a fat kid inside.” Jordan’s close friend Terrence Jenkins, a.k.a. Terrence J, agrees. “When he’s not training for a movie like this, he eats a lot of donuts and junk food,” the former BET host tells Us. “Mike, when he’s not training, is a junk food junkie.”
Even so, the Fantastic Four actor — who has teamed up with Honey Nut Cheerios for their Bee Good Rewards program — was able to hold it together to get major muscles for the movie, which also stars Sylvester Stallone as his coach Rocky Balboa. “I wanted to lean out a lot for this one, so do a lot of cardio. I lifted weights, I boxed, I swam. I just wanted to keep that fluidity. I wanted to look like a fighter. Coming off Black Panther, I was more of a soldier. This one I kinda wanted to look more like a fighter.”
Boxing with Stallone after hours helped too. “He gets into the ring as much as he can,” Jordan tells Us of the 72-year-old action movie star. “He mixes it up a lot. He’s such a youthful guy and really mischievous, so we have a lot of fun off-set.”
And though some of the punches landed a little too hard, admits Jordan, “you just kind of go with it. Honestly, we spent a lot of time in the gym going over choreography, making sure we’re always really safe. But when you get in the moment and the adrenaline’s pumping, you just kind of can’t help but get into the zone.” Adds the actor, who lives with his parents in Sherman Oaks, CA: “I definitely saw stars a couple of times, you know what I mean, and I kind of forgot where I was, but it kind of comes with it. You expect it.”
Now that he’s done filming the fighting flick, he’s let up on his intense fitness routine. “I rolled into another project that kind of forced me to lose my size a little bit and become somebody else,” he says. “That’s one of the good things about acting — you can kind of change your body to look different for different roles.”
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