Sexiest Man Alive Michael B. Jordan Hopes to Have a Legacy Like Kobe Bryant and Chadwick Boseman
"The impact they've had on people in this world is truly incredible," PEOPLE's Sexiest Man Alive says about his inspirations
Michael B. Jordan hopes to live up to his heroes.
The 33-year-old actor opened up about building a legacy in this week's issue of PEOPLE, where he graces the cover as the Sexiest Man Alive.
"I've always wanted to leave behind something that would last longer than my physical body would," says Jordan. "'Inspiring' is so vague."
When it comes to making an impact, the Black Panther star looks to two standout men who have already been immortalized this year after tragic deaths almost exactly seven months apart: Kobe Bryant and Chadwick Boseman.
"Looking at two people in particular that had a real impact on me, in Kobe and Chadwick. You always look at your own mortality after something like that," reflects Jordan. "The impact they've had on people in this world is truly incredible."
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He adds: "To move that and push that ball forward is really important. That's kind of what I want my legacy to be."
Bryant, 41, died earlier this year on Jan. 26 in a helicopter crash alongside his daughter Gianna, 13, and seven others.
Boseman died on Aug. 28 at the age of 43 after a private four-year battle with colon cancer. The actor and Jordan were costars in 2018’s Black Panther.
Jordan's and Boseman's paths crossed when the two actors played the same role in All My Children. Boseman, who was 26 at the time, was allegedly fired from the part after speaking to producers about his concerns that the character, a teen gang member, represented a negative racial stereotype.
"When I got it, I was like, ‘This is not part of my manifesto. This is not part of what I want to do,'" Boseman remarked in a joint interview with Jordan for the January 2019 issue of TheWrap’s Oscars magazine.
He was replaced by Jordan, who was 16 and who portrayed the character for nearly three years.
"I’m younger than Chad, and I was coming into All My Children fresh off The Wire — wide open, still learning. I was playing this role not knowing that a lot of the things I was going through were because of what he’d already done for me," Jordan said in the joint interview.
In August, Jordan honored Boseman in a heartfelt tribute after the actor’s death, writing on Instagram, “I wish we had more time.”
"One of the last times we spoke, you said we were forever linked, and now the truth of that means more to me than ever," Jordan wrote. "Since nearly the beginning of my career, starting with All My Children when I was 16 years old you paved the way for me. You showed me how to be better, honor purpose, and create legacy. And whether you’ve known it or not…I’ve been watching, learning and constantly motivated by your greatness."
For more of our exclusive interview with Jordan, pick up this week’s Sexiest Man Alive issue on newsstands Friday and check out all of our coverage on PEOPLE.com
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