May 09, 2018 at 11:25 AM EDT

It might be hard to imagine Erik Killmonger being the “Dear Diary” type, but apparently, diaries were key to Michael B. Jordan’s performance as the Black Panther villain.

During Tuesday’s Late Show, the actor, who will next be seen in HBO’s Fahrenheit 451, revealed part of his process when it comes to taking on a new role.

“I have journals, or diaries, or whatever, for every character that I have, from the earliest memory up until the first page of the script,” he told Stephen Colbert. “And for me, it just kind of gives you context.”

So what did the journals for T’Challa’s (Chadwick Boseman) revenge-seeking cousin look like? “His was particularly dark, and it was a very sad journal,” said Jordan. “Not having his mom growing up, in and out of the system, foster care, foster homes and whatnot. It’s a lot of dark stuff that’s probably not right for television. But it was deep, and it allowed me to kind of go to that place right before a scene. It allowed me to lock in.”

Watch the full clip above.

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