Michael B. Jordan has had a whirlwind couple of weeks. Which, as he reminded GQ over the phone on Sunday as he geared up to present at the 95th Annual Academy Awards, have capped off a whirlwind couple of years. This includes, of course, his latest round as Adonis Creed in Creed III, which is also his directorial debut. But it’s another turn in front of the camera that has everyone’s attention: Jordan is one of the new celebrity faces of Calvin Klein’s spring underwear campaign. This means that, in keeping with past Calvin Klein underwear campaigns, billboard passersby and social-media scrollers alike are now seeing hard-bodied MBJ, shot in black and white wearing boxer briefs and not much else, everywhere.
Thanks to Creed, there was already a little cheeky tie-in built into the idea of him doing a campaign for boxer briefs—or as Jordan jokingly refers to it, “the poetic nature of it all.” And thanks again to Creed, the actor was already literally in fighting shape when the opportunity to appear in the ad came across his radar, so fortunately there weren’t too many extra preparations to for him to make.
“Yeah, I worked out,” Jordan says with a laugh. The tricky part, he explains, came after the shoot, when the photos of him in his underwear finally hit the internet.
“Of course, everybody hit me about those. My guys, they talk shit,” Jordan says, still laughing. “It’s the most probably exposing photos that I’ve had so far in my career…[so it’s] a catch 22. Of course, it’s great and all that cool stuff, but then your boys, they don’t want to see that shit in their timeline. They have their jokes: ‘My girl’s watching this shit. Relax.’” He joked on the Creed III red carpet about having to give his mom a heads up when the pictures went online.
He added that, while he of course looked back to Mark Walhberg’s iconically macho 1992 CK spot, he was excited to carve out his own place in the broader Calvin Klein universe. “It was something I’ve been wanting to do for some time,” he says. “You look back at history, look at ads. Calvin’s had one of the more iconic billboard campaign ads…then being able to have a person of color, you know what I’m saying? [With] all the other stars that Calvin’s been making over the years. I felt good to take the helm in that type of way.” The full Calvin Klein spring campaign, which carries over the brand’s tagline—“Calvins or nothing”—and features fellow ambassadors like Kendall Jenner, Blackpink’s Jennie, FKA Twigs, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson, goes live today.
With the movie out and awards season winding down, Jordan is hoping he’ll get a chance to go see his CK billboard in one of its two iconic locations—on Houston Street in New York City and La Cienega Boulevard in Los Angeles—and then, ideally, take a nice, relaxing vacation, somewhere “peaceful, without people.”
“I’m all peopled out,” he admits. “I’m done peopling for a little bit. I’m just going to go somewhere where I don’t have to talk too much and I can be in my own thoughts.” Somewhere, presumably, where he can sit around in his boxer briefs without anyone looking.