Man of the Year Michael B. Jordan used to sneak into GQ's parties (Exclusive)

Before he was named one of GQ's Men of the Year, Michael B. Jordan was sneaking into the magazine's famous Men of the Year parties.

The actor was announced as one of the magazine's MOTY earlier this week, alongside Jonah Hill, Henry Golding and Woman of the Year, Serena Williams, among others, and AOL's Gibson Johns caught up with Jordan, who said that the title has forced him to reflect on how far he's come.

"I remember sneaking into those parties," he said with a laugh. "I remember not being on the list and looking at the bouncer like, 'Come on, it’s me! Come on, I know you watched 'The Wire' -- stop playing!' Going from to those moments at parties to being on the cover of the magazine shows a lot of growth and hard work and I appreciate it. Not in a vanity sense, but just that you consider me to be somebody who deserves the Man of the Year title. It’s an earned title, and you want to live up to it a little bit."

Jordan's fame has skyrocketed in the past couple of years thanks to a pair of highly-successful films -- "Creed" and "Blank Panther" -- both of which will have sequels ("Creed II" hits theaters on November 21). And, with that increased fame comes more of an expectation to be a good role model. It's something that Jordan has noticed more during his recent interactions with fans; it's clear to him that he's had a pretty profound impact on young men, especially.

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Michael B. Jordan out and about
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Michael B. Jordan out and about
TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 15: Actor Michael B. Jordan, star of 'CREED II', surprises youth at Toronto Sport For Development Facility, MLSE LaunchPad, to unveil new boxing program on November 15, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by George Pimentel/Getty Images for Warner Bros. Canada)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 14: Tessa Thompson and Michael B. Jordan attend 'Creed II' New York Premiere at AMC Loews Lincoln Square on November 14, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 14: Michael B. Jordan attends the 'Creed II' New York Premiere at AMC Loews Lincoln Square on November 14, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage)
NEWARK, NJ - NOVEMBER 12: Radio personality Nessa (L) and actor Michael B. Jordan attend the 'Creed 2' Newark Community Screening at CityPlex 12 Theater on November 12, 2018 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 12: Michael B. Jordan is seen on November 12, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Tal Rubin/GC)
ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 08: Actor Michael B. Jordan speaks onstage during 'Creed 2' Clark Atlanta University Student Forum at Clark Atlanta University on November 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for MGM Pictures)
ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 07: Actor Michael B. Jordan surprises moviegoers during the 'Creed 2' Atlanta screening at Regal Atlantic Station on November 7, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for MGM Pictures)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - NOVEMBER 04: Michael B. Jordan arrives at the 22nd Annual Hollywood Film Awards on November 4, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 25: Actor Michael B. Jordan attends a basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center on October 25, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 02: Michael B. Jordan attends the Labor Day weekend Celebration at Compound on September 2, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Prince Williams/WireImage)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - JULY 08: Michael B. Jordan speaks onstage during the 2018 Essence Festival on July 8, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Essence)
US actor Michael B. Jordan poses as he arrives on May 12, 2018 for the screening of the film 'Farenheit 451' at the 71st edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France. (Photo by LOIC VENANCE / AFP) (Photo credit should read LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images)
SANTA MONICA, CA - JUNE 16: Actors Olivia Munn (L) and Michael B. Jordan attend the 2018 MTV Movie And TV Awards at Barker Hangar on June 16, 2018 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 12: US actor Michael B. Jordan attends the photocall for the 'Farenheit 451' during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 12, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Venturelli/WireImage)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 12: Michael B. Jordan attends the screening of 'Farenheit 451' during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 12, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 12: Michael B. Jordan attends Marvel Studios Presents: Black Panther Welcome To Wakanda during February 2018 New York Fashion Week: The Shows at Industria Studios on February 12, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 16: Michael B. Jordan plays during the 2018 NBA All-Star Game Celebrity Game at Los Angeles Convention Center on February 16, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 13: Michael B. Jordan attends the Calvin Klein fashion show during New York Fashion Week at the American Stock Exchange Building on February 13, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 13: Michael B Jordan is seen arriving at Good Morning America on February 13, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 13: Michael B. Jordan visits at SiriusXM Studios on February 13, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 13: Actor Michael B. Jordan attends the screening of Marvel Studios' 'Black Panther' hosted by The Cinema Society on February 13, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 13: Danai Gurira, Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong'o and Michael B. Jordan take part in SiriusXM's Town Hall with the cast of Black Panther hosted by SiriusXM's Sway Calloway on February 13, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Michael B. Jordan is a guest on 'Good Morning America,' Tuesday, February 13, 2018, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) MICHAEL STRAHAN, ROBIN ROBERTS, MICHAEL B. JORDAN, GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, LARA SPENCER
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 12: Michael B Jordan seen on the streets of Manhattan on February 12, 2018 in New York, NY. (Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 12: Michael B. Jordan is seen on February 12, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by MediaPunch/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 08: Michael B. Jordan attends the European Premiere of 'Black Panther' at Eventim Apollo on February 8, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 05: Actor Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, and Chadwick Boseman(Left to Right) arrive at the red carpet of the Seoul premiere of 'Black Panther' on February 5, 2018 in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo by Han Myung-Gu/Getty Images for Disney)
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 05: Actor Michael B. Jordan attends the press conference for the Seoul premiere of 'Black Panther' on February 5, 2018 in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo by Han Myung-Gu/Getty Images for Disney)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 30: Actors Michael B. Jordan (L) and Chadwick Boseman attend the Marvel Studios' BLACK PANTHER Global Junket Press Conference on January 30, 2018 at Montage Beverly Hills in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 29: Michael B Jordan attends the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Black Panther' - Arrivals on January 29, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 15: Michael B. Jordan speaks onstage during the 49th NAACP Image Awards at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on January 15, 2018 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Maury Phillips/Getty Images for NAACP )
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 18: Michael B. Jordan and Anthony Anderson attend the NBA All-Star Game 2018 at Staples Center on February 18, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - DECEMBER 08: Michael B. Jordan attends Well+Good at American Express Platinum House at Miami Beach EDITION on December 8, 2017 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for American Express Platinum)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 05: Abbie Cornish and Michael B. Jordan attend Piaget Celebrates Brand Ambassador Michael B. Jordan In Support Of Lupus LA at Piaget on October 5, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Piaget)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 17: Michael B. Jordan and Chadwick Boseman attend the 2018 State Farm All-Star Saturday Night at Staples Center on February 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 08: Michael B. Jordan attends the European Premiere of 'Black Panther' at Eventim Apollo on February 8, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage)
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"More now, since I really started to feel it transition in my career, with 'Creed' and 'Black Panther,'" he said when we asked if he worries about being a good role model. "That's when I really started to see the kids start to show me love. High school kids and little kids [will be] coming up to me, and I’m like, 'Oh, man. This is a moment for you.' So, I’m like, 'Whats up?' and I'm really starting to realize they pick up on things I say and do and they’re reciting lines from movies and I’m like, 'Oh, man, they’re soaking up everything I say.' So, it makes you a little more conscious of where you are and what you’re saying and what example you’re going to be."

A recent example of that realization came this summer when Jordan was driving by a school in Montgomery, Alabama, and decided to stop by and surprise the group of boys outside the school. Footage of the surprise that he posted on Instagram instantly went viral, and the feel good clip has over 2 million views and makes it clear that Jordan has cemented himself as an aspirational figure for many little boys. He still gets "goosebumps" thinking about the moment.

"You feel responsible in a sense. This is the moment where you know they’re ears are wide open and their eyes are locked," he explained. "You’re like, 'Okay, I have a chance to deposit something good in them, so let me just give them some good energy and feed their souls a little bit.'"

Another way that he's positioning himself as a good example to young people is through giving back. The actor recently partnered with Honey Nut Cheerios on its new Good Rewards program, which allows families to partner with celebrities like Jordan, Lucy Hale and Rob Gronkowski, to win money for charity. Growing up with a father who worked at a food bank, the actor has always recognized the importance of helping others and he's still figuring out the best way to use his ever-growing platform to do so.

"I’m just trying to find the right way to do it," Jordan said of giving back. "Sometimes trying to think of the perfect way [to do so] will leave you paralyzed and make you not do anything, but anything counts. Any little bit is going to help. Just do something, because it will make somebody’s day. It comes from my parents and watching them give back, whether it’s donating old clothes or giving to food pantries or volunteering at the food bank, it’s always been second nature."

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