Tessa Thompson Talks Creed 3 & Introduces Us to Her 5-Year-Old Rescue Dog
Mar 4, 2023
Michael B. Jordan’s directorial debut, Creed III, is now in theaters and stars Jordan, Jonathan Majors, and Tessa Thompson. Set three years after the events of Creed II, Jordan reprises his role as Adonis “Donnie” Creed, now the undisputed heavyweight champion. Donnie has not only made a name for himself with his career, and retired, but has built a life with his wife, Bianca, played by Thompson, who’s recently had to give up her own dreams of performing to salvage what’s left of her hearing. Thompson, who was first introduced as Bianca in the original Creed, directed by Ryan Coogler, is best-known for roles in Marvel Studio’s Thor saga as Valkyrie, Annihilation, and Justin Simien’s Dear White People.
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In Creed III, Donnie and Bianca are now cultivating a life together in LA, raising their daughter Amara (Mila Davis-Kent), when a friend from Donnie’s past, Damian “Dame” Anderson (Majors), is released from prison. With nothing else to his name, Dame still holds onto his dreams of becoming a champion boxer and tracks Donnie down. As tensions simmer between the two, and Donnie wrestles with his guilt and the desire to protect all he’s worked so hard for, Bianca remains a solid constant by his side, urging him to take up his gloves once again and fight when Dame comes for his title. Creed III also stars Phylicia Rashad, Wood Harris, Florian Munteanu, and José Benavidez.
Collider’s Steve Weintraub was able to speak with not just Tessa Thompson while promoting the film, but also Coltrane Thompson. During her interview, Thompson introduced us to Coltrane, her five-year-old rescue dog who’s graced a number of movie sets from Creed III to Westworld to Thompson’s other feature, The Listener, directed by Steve Buscemi. When Coltrane had enough of the limelight, Thompson discussed what surprised her most about Jordan as a director, what didn’t surprise her about Jordan as a director, and what it means to be a part of a franchise that holds such a special place in the hearts of a massive fanbase. To see Thompson and Coltrane, check out the interview in the player above, and read our full conversation below.
COLLIDER: So, I’m obviously here to talk about Creed III, but not really anymore. It all changed. So what is the name of your dog?
TESSA THOMPSON: [Laughs] This is Coltrane.
And how long how old is Coltrane?
THOMPSON: He’s five.
THOMPSON: Rescue. Full rescue.
Image via United Artists Releasing
Are you guys inseparable?
THOMPSON: Yeah, we go a lot of places together, and we just got back from the press tour and he couldn’t come. So that’s why I was like, “You’re coming to work today because I’m not leaving you.” He actually spent some time on the Creed III set, and he has been in a film. He’s sorely disappointed that I didn’t put him in this one. He’s like, “I’m a nepo baby. Why?”
Which film did he get in?
THOMPSON: I made a film with Steve Buscemi – which, that’s how you say it, not “Buscemi,” it blew my mind when I learned that a year ago – and he is in the film.
Is he dreading sitting there, or is he super happy?
THOMPSON: No, he’s super happy, he’s just relaxed.
First of all, everything about this is amazing. And second of all, I wish I could have a dog. We have cats because of my schedule. You can bring him to sets and everything?
THOMPSON: Yeah, Yeah, Yeah. He’s been on the Westworld set. He’s been around, he’s like a seasoned set dog guy.
I was going to say, I think you need to work in your contract.
THOMPSON: [Laughs] In my Rider. In my Woofer
Image via Warner Bros.
Yeah, exactly. That he walks by in certain scenes. Well, he’s gorgeous.
THOMPSON: Thank you so much.
Okay, so obviously this is Michael [B. Jordan’s] first time directing a movie, and I’m curious, what surprised you about working with Michael as a director that perhaps you weren’t expecting?
THOMPSON: He cares so much about clothes. He’s very meticulous about what characters are wearing, and that hasn’t always been the case. Often when I work with male directors, they’re like, “I don’t know, just wear a shoe.” And he’s like, “No, but what kind of shoe?” That surprised me.
What did not surprise me is how he’s such an incredible leader and such a lovely… I mean, he really bolsters the spirit of camaraderie and collaboration, and he makes everyone happy when he comes to set, which I knew. He’s always done that as an actor, but when you’re balancing the challenges of being a director, I didn’t know if he could manage to still bring that kind of energy and attention to everybody. And he did.
Oftentimes, people like to talk about making a sequel or a prequel to whatever it may be. This is the third Creed movie.
THOMPSON: This is a triquel?
Image via MGM
Right, exactly. What is it like being part of a franchise like this – that’s not Marvel – that resonates with so many people?
THOMPSON: You know, I think I realized pretty early, in the sense that, it was even before I had seen the film Creed, but I think we went to Philadelphia for a press run, and we went to the iconic stairs where the Rocky statue is and there were so many fans there. But the thing that surprised me is they were so intergenerational, you know? There were young fans, and it’s such a cross-section of people, which makes sense because Ryan Coogler himself was such a fan of the Rocky franchise. It meant so much to him and his family. And so I guess I was initially surprised by what the fanbase looked like and how enduring the series had been.
So I think that we were borrowing from that, that we were doing something inside of that world, but also speaking to a whole new generation. I think realizing that, and that potentially could mean something to a lot of people because of that. I think that was the thing that was really remarkable to realize.
Creed III is in theaters March 3. Check out our interview with Majors at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival below, and check back with Collider for more from Creed III.
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