Tessa Thompson Says She and Michael B. Jordan Went to Couples Therapy to Prep for 'Creed III' Roles

"We know stuff about each other's lives. We shared and talked about it. So therapy ended up starting at work and getting more personal," Thompson said of Creed costar Jordan

Michael B. Jordan, left, and Tessa Thompson arrive at the premiere of "Creed III", at TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles LA Premiere of "Creed III", Los Angeles, United States - 27 Feb 2023
Photo: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Tessa Thompson and Michael B. Jordan took method acting to a whole new level when prepping for Creed III.

According to an interview with Refinery29 published Thursday, Thompson said she and Jordan "actually" went to couple's therapy together "in character" to prep for their roles in the latest Creed installment.

"The line sometimes between character and us get blurred because we bring so much of what we're exploring personally to the characters in general," Thompson, 39, said of attending couple's therapy with Jordan, 36, as their respective characters, Adonis "Donnie" Creed and Bianca.

"I'll say it was an early experience in couples therapy for us both [personally], but it was as these characters, which is very weird," she added. "But I think it reminded us of our own personal lives that going to therapy, even when a relationship is good, can be a good thing if you're trying to just sharpen communication and figure out how someone works. It's useful in so many relationships,"

Tessa Thompson stars as Bianca and Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Creed in
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While Thompson and Jordan were playing their Creed characters in therapy, she explained that they were "also reflecting on our own relationships. Since we've been making these movies for eight, nine years, we've seen each other through various stages in our own romantic things."

"We know stuff about each other's lives. We shared and talked about it. So therapy ended up starting at work and getting more personal," she added.

Thompson said it was additionally a "chance for us to really talk to a couples therapist and understand what are some of the things young parents who are trying to balance their own dreams and aspirations [are facing]."

"What are the themes that you see? What are the things they might be up against? What might be their impediments to happiness or success as a couple? That was really fascinating also to hear from her and bring that into the stew," she continued.

The actress recalled how long she has worked Jordan on the boxing blockbuster franchise: "I kept saying eight [years]; and then, like the other day, Mike was like, 'No, it's nine.' I couldn't believe it!"

"I remember when we were developing Creed III, we were looking at old photographs from the first one, and we both agreed we are babies in that. Obviously, we weren't just talking about how we look like babies. We realized how much we've grown over the course of making these films," she said of herself and Jordan.

"I think a lot of our growth is also parallel to the growth of the characters...in terms of the kind of conversations that we're having together and separately around legacy."

creed II
Michael B. Jordan and Tessa Thompson in Creed II. Barry Wetcher /MGM / Courtesy Everett

"I think Mike and I are doing that in so many ways. We both have our production companies. We're producing in earnest and really thinking about what our contribution is — not just to culture but to our community," Thompson added.

According to Thompson, her character Bianca tells her husband Donnie to go to therapy throughout the entirety of Creed III, which she said is "like a full PSA for everyone."

"I think the moral of Creed III is that all people should go to therapy because it's something that I think really has helped Bianca, for example," Thompson said of her own character's emotional journey throughout the film.

"And she constantly reminds me to just stay in therapy, get into therapy, talk about your feelings. You don't always have to have it figured out. You don't always have to be tough," she added.

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Creed III is now playing in theaters.

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