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On the Proximity podcast: Michael B. Jordan first interviews Ryan Coogler

Ryan Coogler’s Proximity Media is releasing a podcast featuring one-on-one conversations between production company executives and key creative partners — with Coogler sitting down with longtime partner Michael B. Jordan for the first episode.

The In Proximity podcast promises listeners a deep dive into the creative process of making film, television, music, and podcasts, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at future Proximity projects and titles. The show premieres with an episode of Coogler and Jordan on Sunday, March 12th on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and other podcast platforms as well as, with new episodes released weekly.

Coogler and Jordan taped the podcast in a Los Angeles screening room for the movie “Creed III,” which stars Jordan and marks his directorial debut. The film, which opens nationwide March 3, is being co-produced by Proximity and Amazon’s MGM Studios. “We’ve been talking about how close we’ve been to each other for the better part of a decade now, our professional jobs,” Coogler says in the first episode.

The two first collaborated on “Fruitvale Station,” Coogler’s first 2013 film that he wrote and directed. Based on a true story, it follows the last 24 hours in the life of a young black man who is shot and killed by an Oakland police officer. Coogler reveals he was nervous about the project, largely because the program had been accepted by Sundance Labs — but he didn’t share the script with Jordan or any other talent.

“I had already made up my mind,” Coogler told Jordan, “I wanted to choose you.” “I was just hoping we could get along a little bit. And I’m fresh out of high school and, you know, like, I’ve worked with professional actors but none of them are really established.”

Jordan replies that he was also concerned about “Fruitvale” but that Coogler “had a certain sense of trust about you. You know, I trusted what you were saying and it felt comfortable.” Jordan says Coogler told him on their first meeting: “Man, look. I wrote this for you. I think you’re a star, and I know you’re a star — let’s go show the world.” Jordan says that the interaction “kind of gave me the first kind of ‘I belong here’ feeling in the industry.” (Listen to a preview of the clip below.)

Additional episodes of “In Proximity” will feature couples including actor-songwriter Jonathan Majors (who stars in “Creed III”) and Proximity executive director D’Angelo “D’Lo” Lewis (co-producer on “Creed III”); actor, producer, and founder of Viva Maude Tessa Thompson and head of Proximity Television, Kalia King; 99% Invisible Host creator and Radiotopia founder Roman Mars and Coogler; writer-director Aneesh Chaganty (“Searching,” “Run”), Proximity founder, writer-producer Sev Ohanian; and founder and CEO of Macro Charles D. King and Coogler.

In each episode of “In Proximity,” the Proximity exec discusses with their guest their first collaboration together and the pivotal moments and lessons they took in their respective field, which includes directing, acting, music production, podcasts, and film and television development.

This series is Proximity Media’s third podcast after “Wakanda Forever: The Official Black Panther Podcast,” written and hosted by Ta-Nehisi Coates and produced in collaboration with Marvel Studios and the “Judas and the Black Messiah Podcast.”

Nearby Audio president Paula Mardo serves as “In Proximity” Producer and Executive Producer along with company founders Coogler, Zinzi Coogler, and Ohanian. “We are building a community of amazing artists and executives at Proximity Media,” Mardo said in a statement. “We’re excited to open this community up to listeners around the world with this podcast.”

The song “In Proximity” was written by Proximity co-founder Ludwig Göransson. The production team includes sound designer/mix engineer Ken Nana and production assistant Polina Cherezova.

Listen to a preview of “In Proximity’s” episode 1 with Coogler and Jordan:

Pictured above: Ryan Coogler and Michael B.


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