Michael B. Jordan on How Kobe Bryant and Other Famous 'Girl Dads' Inspired 'Creed III'

"I wanted to honor these kinds of relationships and what it means to be a girl dad," said Creed III director/star Michael B. Jordan

Michael B. Jordan on How Kobe Bryant and Other Famous 'Girl Dads' Inspired Creed III
Photo: Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty, Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

Michael B. Jordan took notes from Kobe Bryant and other celebrity dads when coming up with the father-daughter relationship in Creed III.

The actor, 36, makes his directorial debut with the sequel, and in an interview with IndieWire, Jordan explained the connection late NBA star Bryant had on shaping the project.

"We were on the Just Mercy tour and Kobe Bryant hosted a screening. And [costar] Jamie Foxx has a strong relationship with his daughter, who was into basketball, she was playing basketball. And Kobe's sitting there talking about Gianna and basketball and the Mamba Academy and everything," Jordan recalled. "I just remember stepping out of myself for a second, and I'm looking at these guys that I have real admiration for and hearing them talk about their daughters."

"I was like, 'Man, I'm pulling from all of this right now for the movie.' I wanted to honor these kinds of relationships and what it means to be a girl dad," he added.

Jordan said, "Muhammad Ali was one of the models for [my character] Apollo Creed and, of course, he has a daughter, Layla. So that was something that was stirring around in my head, how to make it fresh and different, and I kind of knew at the end of Creed that I wanted to have a daughter."

Creed III
Creed III. Eli Ade /© MGM /Courtesy Everett Collection

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On Jan. 26, 2020, Bryant, 41, Gianna, 13, and seven other people were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif. He is survived by wife Vanessa and their other daughters Natalia, 20, Bianka, 6, and Capri, 3.

In November 2020, Jordan told PEOPLE about what he wants his legacy to be, sharing that Bryant and late Black Panther costar Chadwick Boseman are role models for him in that department.

RELATED VIDEO: Michael B. Jordan Says He Hopes to Leave Behind a Legacy Like Kobe Bryant and Chadwick Boseman

"Looking at two people in particular that had a real impact on me, in Kobe and Chadwick. You always look at your own mortality after something like that. The impact they've had on people in this world is truly incredible," he said at the time. "To move that and push that ball forward is really important. That's kind of what I want my legacy to be."

Jordan and Bryant starred in an Apple TV commercial together back in 2016. On the one-year anniversary of Bryant's death, Jordan wrote on Instagram, "Don't think I could recap a year any clearer from the moment I heard the news until today. Appreciation of family. Of time. & purpose is heavy on my mind this morning. Sending love & healing energy to the Bryant family. Rest in Power. You'll never be forgotten."

Creed III is in theaters Friday.

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