Sorry, Cara Delevingne, you no longer have the honor of this summer’s most uncomfortable press junket interview. That trophy has been swiftly passed on to “Fantastic Four” stars Kate Mara and Michael B. Jordan, thanks to a taped sit-down they did late last week for Atlanta’s Rock 100.5-FM station.
The awkwardness was threefold, but started when morning show host Jason Bailey expressed his fascination that Mara and Jordan play siblings (Sue Storm and Johnny Storm, respectively) in the upcoming movie. It’s all in the video below, which went viral over the weekend, showing a “behind-the-scenes” recording of the interview with Mara, Jordan and their co-star Jamie Bell.
“The obvious question,” Bailey started, explaining that he had not seen the movie or delved into the back story between the two. “From where I stand, you’re brother and sister … am I missing something?”
“No,” Jordan replied.
“Yeah, but you’re white, you’re black. How does that happen?” Bailey asked. Jordan replied that there was no back story, but Bailey insisted, “There has to be some type of adoption thing going on.”
“We’re raised brother and sister,” Jordan explained. As Buzzfeed (the first outlet to write about the interview) pointed out, he also fielded this question from Jimmy Kimmel a few months ago. “I mean, there’s a whole bunch of different family dynamics that it could be without the obvious adoption.”
Things went downhill again a minute later when Bailey’s co-host Steven Rickman told Mara that he was a big fan of her in “Shooter.” “You’re way, way hot,” he told her. He then pointed out that she had a new, short haircut.
Mara laughed. “I’m sorry, I know. You don’t like it, I can tell,” she said. Rickman assured her that she looks great with short or long hair, even though the long hair was excellent. “This is a great interview,” Mara said.
Cut to: Mara explaining to Rickman that the short haircut was required for a role in a different movie she’s filming; Rickman wanted to make sure that if she returns for a “Fantastic Four” sequel, she’ll grow her hair out again.
“Is that weirding you out that he’s doing that? It’s creeping me out,” Bailey jumped in.
“I mean — ” Mara started to answer.
“I’m a toe guy. Your toes are fine,” Rickman assured her.
“Wowww,” Mara said, at which point a staff member mercifully told everyone it was time to wrap things up.
So, will there be any fallout from the latest entry in the Awkward Interview Hall of Fame? The radio hosts don’t think so: Bailey told Buzzfeed that he was genuinely curious about Mara and Jordan’s characters’ sibling relationship: “You have a white sister and black brother, wouldn’t you want to know how that happened? I did. The other ‘Fantastic Four’ franchises explain the relationship, so I figured with this new hipster version they’d have some different back story,” he said.
As for Rickman’s fixation on Mara’s looks, Bailey explained that Rickman was being “playful” during that part of the conversation, given that Jordan was distracted on the phone at the time. “As for him complimenting her toes and why people are upset about that, sorry, no idea. Steve likes girls’ toes,” Bailey said in part. “People should be appreciative when they get complimented.”
Both hosts have been tweeting over the weekend about their self-proclaimed “awkward” interview, and as an added bonus: Bailey is offering the haters a chance to call in his radio show on Monday morning to hash it out. That way, everybody wins.
— Jason Bailey (@mrjasonbailey) August 2, 2015