Michael B. Jordan and Chadwick Boseman Reflect on Playing Same Role in 'All My Children'

Chadwick Boseman says he was given the ax after raising concerns that the character, a teen gang member, was little more than a racial stereotype

The Cinema Society with Ravage Wines & Synchrony host the after party for Marvel Studios' "Black Panther"
Photo: Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan/Getty

Years before the two actors shared the screen together in Black Panther, Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan both found themselves playing the same character on All My Children — just not at the same time.

In 2003, Boseman, then 26, was hired to play the role of Reggie Porter on the ABC soap opera, but was allegedly fired after speaking to producers about his concerns that the character, a teen gang member, was a racial stereotype.

“It’s one of those things where you get a role, and you don’t really know,” he remarked in a joint interview with Jordan for the January issue of TheWrap’s Oscar magazine.

“When I got it, I was like, ‘This is not part of my manifesto. This is not part of what I want to do.’ ” the actor remarked, adding that he believed that since soap operas are ever-changing, there was “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.”

“I had to voice my opinions and put my stamp on it,” Boseman added. He claimed that while the producers did take “some” of his suggestions, they also fired him, replacing the actor with the much-younger Jordan, who was then 16.

“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,” Boseman added.

A representative for ABC did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

Jordan, who had played a significant role on the seminal HBO series The Wire before joining All My Children, went on to explain that at the time, he wasn’t aware of how Boseman had a role in changing the role for the better.

“It’s wild to hear you say that,” he remarked. “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 already done for me.”

Jordan went on to appear on All My Children for nearly three years, before the long-running soap opera was cancelled in 2011.

RELATED VIDEO: Sterling K. Brown On The Power Of Representation In Black Panther: ‘He Looks Like My Son’

The Creed II star, 31, went on to explain that their story illustrated how important it is to use your voice in order to make things better for the next generation.

“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,” he continued, adding that he hoped Black Panther would open up even more doors for young black actors.

Matt Kennedy/©Marvel Studios 2018

“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,” Jordan added.

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