The Real Thing

With his complex, vulnerable performance in this summer’s lauded indie Fruitvale Station, Michael B. Jordan has Hollywood’s attention. And an icon’s. ”I met Sidney Poitier,” Jordan says. ”It was incredible, dude! He shook my hand, and I felt like I was shaking a vise grip, and he said, ‘I expect nothing but greatness from you from here on out.”’

Before racking up praise as Fruitvale‘s Oscar Grant III (the man shot by a Bay Area transit cop on New Year’s Day in 2009), the 26-year-old actor wowed audiences as Wallace on HBO’s The Wire, as quarterback Vince Howard on Friday Night Lights, and as a teenage superhero in last year’s Chronicle. Now he’s poised for the big leagues. He’s in talks to reteam with Fruitvale director Ryan Coogler to play the grandson of Rocky’s first major opponent in Creed, and he’s rumored to be the next Human Torch in a Fantastic Four reboot. On that topic, Jordan will only say: ”We’ll see what happens in the next couple of months.”

As for his dreams, ”I definitely want to make a movie with Spielberg,” he says. ”And I’ve got to do a movie with Denzel Washington and Will Smith.” Both of them? ”Well, not at the same time, but yeah,” he says. ”I feel like I have to pay homage, you know?”