— -- Michael B. Jordan wasn’t alive when the film “Rocky” took the box office by storm nearly four decades ago, but he says he binge-watched the original and the subsequent six films to prepare for his role in "Creed," the latest film in the series.
Jordan, 28, plays Adonis Creed, the boxer son of Apollo Creed – the heavyweight boxing champion who was a rival, then friend, of Rocky Balboa in four "Rocky" films.
Jordan talked to ABC News’ Amy Robach about being in the film. Asked whether he felt any pressure during the production of "Creed," he replied: "Not a little bit."
"I had Sylvester Stallone in my corner. And literally took the pressure off of me to not compete and not compare with anything that he did, you know, 40 years ago but to, you know, have your own legacy ... and kind of do your own thing," he said. "So physically I felt the pressure because they did such a great job back, you know, back in the day, Carl Weathers (the actor who played Apollo Creed) and Sly, they were cut to a tee. So me and my trainer, we really wanted to, you know, set the bar pretty high."
Stallone himself helped Jordan in playing the role.
"He knows, you know, movie boxing better than anybody else," Jordan said of Stallone. "So if you have to sell a punch or telegraph this or telegraph that. So he really, you know, connected the dots between real boxing and on-screen boxing for me."
Jordan’s physical training resulted in a sculpted body that earned him a cover on "Men’s Fitness" magazine. The actor said he was "super proud" of the cover and his physique, and noted that achieving it took an "extreme diet change."
He added: "I stripped down my diet completely. Grilled chicken, brown rice, broccoli and a lot of water. I worked out two to two three times a day, six days a week. And ... if you do that consistently for about 10 months your body will change."
"Creed" hits theaters on Wednesday.