Power Players

'Black Panther' star Michael B. Jordan on success: 'You're defined by what you say no to'

Michael B. Jordan: This is the biggest thing I learned in Hollywood

You might think that actor Michael B. Jordan measures his success by roles, like playing Erik Killmonger in Oscar-nominated "Black Panther." But you'd be wrong.

"Everybody has their own ... method or strategy to become successful. Everybody has their own version of success," Jordan tells CNBC Make It. "I think for me, it's always been you're defined by what you say no to."

"You can't do everything. You have to be selective. You want to build your brand in a very prestigious way, that's what I'm going for."

At just 32, Jordan has an impressive list of achievements, including a 2018 Emmy nomination for his leading role in HBO's "Fahrenheit 451" and a number of noteworthy awards for his starring role in last year's blockbuster hit "Black Panther," which is up for Best Picture at the Academy Awards on Sunday. Off-screen, Jordan has various projects, like Las' Lap, a Manhattan rum bar he co-owns. He also has a partnership with Bacardi rum and even co-directed "The Angel's Share," a digital short ad for the brand's premium collection, last year.

Michael B. Jordan at the Bacardi Mixology Lab event on Feb. 13 at Las' Lap bar in New York City.

Jordan says what he says "yes" to is carefully considered. He wants to work with people he admires artistically and who he enjoys spending time with. Actors, Jordan explains, spend a lot of time together, between pre-production, shooting and post-production.

"I think I'm at a place now where you know [that] life's too short, you want to work with people that you know really bring something to the table and projects that you really believe in," Jordan says. "Because you have to promote that, you have to sell that. You have to have your heart in the right place."

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