Friday Night Lights Exclusive: Michael B. Jordan on Playing Vince, Saying Goodbye

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We know one thing to expect on the Friday Night Lights series finale, which airs in a few days: tears. Many, many tears. What else can fans look forward to?

I posed that question to Michael B. Jordan this week.

"Old faces return," the actor behind Vince Howard said. "There are final goodbyes and a few hellos. It does a really good job of wrapping up storylines and giving a sense of closure, while also leaving viewers wanting more."

Vince Howard in Charge

Jordan, of course, didn't even enter the Dillon picture until three seasons in. He said he was nervous about joining such a "well-oiled machine," but he met Brad Leland (Buddy Garrity) in a Mexican restaurant one day and was quickly assured the FNL experience would unlike any other in his career.

Leland was right.

"The first scene I shot was incredible," Jordan said. "It' amazing, the amount of freedom we have. They encourage us to bring something to the table each day. There are no marks, the set is our world and the cameras adjust to what we do."

The result of such unique filming has allowed Friday Night Lights to feel more real and more organic than any show in memory. Jordan has played a major role in these raw moments on season five, sharing heavy scenes with Cress Williams, who plays Vince's troubled father.

"He's amazing. We just clicked right away," Jordan said of his co-star. "The thing is, Cress is really tall. But he plays the role sort of hunched over. But when he gets upset of angry, he stands upright and it's like: oh shit."

Then there's Kyle Chandler, of course, the heart and soul of the series. Jordan compares scenes with him to a "game of tennis with one of the best in the world. Can you keep the volley going?"

Tragically, Friday Night Lights comes to an end this week, but Jordan will keep the momentum of his career going by reprising the role of Alex this fall on Parenthood.

"He had it all together last season, as he was sort of auditioning for the family," Jordan said of that character. "He's more comfortable now, but you have to wonder: How long will things remain peaceful?"

Aside from his memorable TV roles - The Wire, Friday Night Lights and Parenthood?!? - Jordan will be featured twice on the big screen next year: First in Chronicle, which is just wrapped in South Africa; and then George Lucas’ Redtails, which tells the story of African American pilots in World War II.

First, however, his right arm will be needed for a few big throws in the Texas State Championship. Bring a box of tissues.

Friday Night Lights ends its run on July 15. I'll post a tribute to the show later this week and the TV Fanatic review will be live the instant this episode concludes.

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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Friday Night Lights Quotes

"When Jason Street went down the first game of the season, everybody wrote us off. Everybody. And yet here we are at the championship game. Forty thousand people out there have also written us off. But there are a few out there who still believe in you."

Eric Taylor

We will all at some time in our lives, fall. Life is so very fragile, we are all vulnerable, and we will all at some point in our lives, fall, we will all fall.
We must carry this in our hearts, that what we have is special, that it can be taken from us, and that when it is taken from us, we will be tested. We will be tested to our very souls. We will all be tested.
It is these times, it is this pain, that allows us to look inside ourselves.

Eric Taylor

Friday Night Lights Music

  Song Artist
Muzzle of bees Muzzle of Bees Wilco iTunes
Song Evergreen The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Song Bang a Gong (Get it On) T. Rex