Michael B. Jordan and Denzel Washington side by side

You never know who’s going to come back into your life at any given point in time. Someone you met getting coffee could become one of the most important person in your not-too-distant future. Or if you’re Without Remorse star Michael B. Jordan, you could meet Denzel Washington as a young kid, only to get to work with him further down the line. That's exactly what happened, as a chance meeting made for an interesting prologue ahead of their collaboration on the upcoming film Journal for Jordan.

This came up during Vanity Fair’s legendary Proust Questionnaire, a concept that runs the gamut through various personal and professional questions. During his interview, Jordan was asked about his friendship with Denzel Washington, and how long their collaboration had been in the works. Which lead the future director of Creed III to tell this quick story about how they’d met:

I mean, he probably wouldn’t remember me as a kid, but I met him in passing when I was maybe 17. He had no reason to know who I was or anything like that, but I shook his hand and I was just like, ‘Oh shit. That was great, right?’ We first sat down for real after Fruitvale Station.

With Michael B. Jordan’s star-making turn in director Ryan Coogler’s feature film debut, Fruitvale Station became a calling card for both the actor and the helmer behind the project. And it was apparently more important than anyone could have anticipated, as Denzel Washington was another one of the many fans impressed with the young actor’s work. That impression lead to this brand new project, and a friendship that’s been going strong.

So what’s it like to meet Denzel Washington for the first time? Keeping in mind this is the same man that’s blazed his own path in films like Glory, Training Day, and Fences, it has to be somewhat intimidating. But for Michael B. Jordan, the experience was automatically warm and inviting, as he explains further along in that same interview:

First time I met Denzel, it was like meeting one of my uncles, you know what I mean? Or like a father figure. He’s got tons of stories. He’s lived the life that people only dream to have. Old-school. Super wise. He cracks his jokes, he’s funny—more than I think people would expect.

That last bit of Michael B. Jordan’s story should have you thinking back to that Denzel gif that helps everyone show they’re breathing a sigh of relief. Which is good, because Jordan’s next film, Without Remorse, is set to debut at the end of April, on Prime Video. That’s bound to be an intense thrill ride of a film, so you should probably chill out before jumping in.

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