Watch Coach's Spike Lee-Directed Short Film 'Words Matter' Starring Michael B. Jordan
Complex spoke to Jordan about the project as well as working with Lee for the first time.
Coach tapped two of the biggest names in Hollywood for its latest short film, Words Matter.
The project was directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Spike Lee and stars the global face of Coach menswear, Michael B. Jordan. It begins with the actor traveling by motorcycle in a Southern California desert, where he comes across scattered rocks inscribed with words like "Hatred," "Bigotry," and "Lies." Jordan then decides to combat the negativity by replacing the stones with rocks featuring positive words, including "Courage," "Truth," and "Love."
The film, which marks Lee and Jordan's first-ever collaboration, was intended to highlight the importance of values while also reinforcing what Coach stands for. In addition to their respective director and acting roles, Lee and Jordan helped hand-pick the words that appeared in the visual.
"Collaborating with the iconic Spike Lee on this short film for Coach was an inspirational experience," the Black Panther star said. "Spike's art has moved the cultural dial for decades. I'm proud of the powerful messaging of this film and to be working alongside a brand that cares about putting that narrative into the world as much as I do."
Lee co-wrote Words Matter with his children Satchel and Jackson Lee. Stylist Jane How, hair stylist Jove Edmond, and makeup artist Carola Gonzalez also contributed to the project.
You can check out Words Matter above, as well as a brief Q&A with Michael, Satchel, and Jackson about the film below.
What was the inspiration behind the film, and what kind of message were you trying to convey?
Satchel: I think what's so great about this film, is that there are so many different interpretations. Every viewer takes away a different message. Is it political? Is it about balancing the positivity and negativity within? It's all of that.
Jackson: I think with this film we were trying to show how in a world [where] people try to tell you the truth doesn’t matter we remind people words do.
Can you describe your experience working with Spike Lee for the first time?
Michael: Spike has been challenging and redefining the film industry on brilliant and unapologetic terms for decades. He is a legend and it was an honor to work with him on this.
How did you and Lee determine which words to feature in the film, and how did they fit with the film’s themes?
Michael: Inclusivity and optimism are two terms that define this film, this brand, and both mine and Spike’s personal ideals. To be able to literally spell it out—replacing words of negativity and hate with words of positivity and love, in a cinematic way that is trademark Spike Lee—was an expression of that.
The film encourages inclusion, optimism, and courage. Why are these values specifically important today, and why do you choose to use your platform to promote these values?
Michael: Powerful messaging and activism around hope and inclusivity has historically let us through the toughest moments of fear and divisiveness. Art can be a great tool for inspiration, which is the hope for this short film.