Oscar Grant’s story has not only inspired the groundbreaking new film Fruitvale Station, it’s made a star of lead actor Michael B. Jordan. The 25-year old TV veteran and his fictional mother Octavia Spencer are the latest cover stars for Jet. Inside, the two discuss the portrayal of black men in the judicial system in addition to their dramatic roles in the Ryan Coogler flick.
“Unfortunately with these cases you see a person’s character is put on trial. It’s taken into two totally different directions. You see this villain, this monster, so with this project, we really wanted to give him his humanity back,” Jordan says in a behind the scenes video.
“To show a day in the life of what this guy was like during his day-to-day routine. To really understand who this guy was. I think it’s very important and very relevant because of the Trayvon Martin case and the millions of Trayvon Martins and Oscar Grants around the world who stories never gets told.”
Octavia Spencer, whose last high profile role earned her an Oscar (The Help), also cited the Newtown school shootings in contrasting how white and black men are portrayed by the media.
“When Adam Lanza went into Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed those children, news outlets painted him with empathy… They don’t do that when dealing with a young man of color— even if they are killed for no reason,” she added.
Watch their BTS video below.