Jonathan Majors: 6 things you didn't know about the MCU's Kang
Let's get to know one of Hollywood's young stars, Jonathan Majors, a bit more.
Jonathan Majors is bound to be a household name in the near future, if he isn't already. The young actor is an Emmy nominee for Lovecraft Country, but he is poised for the biggest year of his career in 2023.
Majors has big roles as the villains to massive franchises — as Kang the Conqueror in Marvel's Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and as the next opponent in the ring for Michael B. Jordan's hero in Creed III — as well as an awards-worthy performance in the indie movie Magazine Dreams. These are in addition to other major roles that he has had in recent years, including The Last Black Man in San Francisco, Spike Lee's Da 5 Bloods, Netflix western The Harder They Fall and the 2022 war epic Devotion.
You're going to be seeing plenty of Jonathan Majors on the big screen, but what else is there to know about him? Here are some things you may not have known about Jonathan Majors.
1. He is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama
Jonathan Majors is an Ivy Leaguer. After getting his Bachelor's degree in Acting from the University of North Carolina School of Arts, Majors went to study at the Yale School of Drama, earning his Masters in Acting in 2016. However, Majors did not attend the showcase (opens in new tab) that the school put on for its graduating class in New York and Los Angeles because he had already booked what would be his first major role in the Dustin Lance Black-created TV miniseries When We Rise.
2. He almost walked out of his first meeting with Marvel
Majors is now a major part of the MCU's future, as he is playing the main antagonist for Phase 5 and Phase 6, Kang the Conqueror. However, Majors said he was ready to walk out of his first ever meeting with Marvel.
Speaking with Vanity Fair (opens in new tab), Majors said that shortly after graduating from Yale in 2016, he had a general meeting with Marvel. "So I got in there and they're just busy," he said. "And I was like, 'I'm supposed to be here, right?' It got long and I went, 'I'm just going to go. It's cool. I'll just go.' And I got to the door, but then they said [casting director] Sarah Finn was going to come.”
Majors did not specify what Marvel movie he was meeting for at that time, but he said that they began talking about him playing Kang about three years later.
3. He always carries a cup with him
Jonathan Majors has his own signature accessory — a small ceramic cup that he brings with him practically everywhere he goes. He talked about it as part of a cover story with CQ (opens in new tab) in 2020, listing it as one of his ten essential items. "It just became a thing for me to always have my own vessel, to kind of move through the world with," the actor said.
In his Vanity Fair interview, he added some additional context to the cup, saying that his mother told him to "never let anybody fill your cup. No one can fill your cup for you." He also stressed that it's only ever water in his cup, never alcohol.
4. He helped create the Sidney Poitier Initiative
Majors has long been inspired by the work of Sidney Poitier, including having a photo of the actor up in his dorm room in college. Following Poitier's death in January 2022, the young actor, a member of the Gotham Film and Media Institute's Board of Directors, helped lead the charge in the creation of the organization's Sidney Poitier Initiative (SPI).
When announcing the program, Majors described it as "an ambitious set of programs developed around the spirit Sidney Poitier brought to the world as he broke down the barriers in the film industry and the minds of audiences. SPI aims to expand on this legacy to support the next generation of filmmakers."
SPI has enlisted the support of many of the biggest and most influential Black figures in Hollywood to provide help to up-and-comers through mentorships, scholarships, project funding and career advancement to not only help them break in but sustain successful careers. Variety (opens in new tab) offers more details on the program.
5. His workout routine for various roles consisted of eating 6,100 calories a day
Two of Majors three big roles in 2023, Creed III and Magazine Dreams, required him to get, to put it simply, jacked; particularly Magazine Dreams, where he plays an obsessive amateur bodybuilder. To do this, he began an intense workout routine where he worked out for two-hour sessions three times a day, more than the traditional two times a day a traditional bodybuilder would do, per Majors.
But that's not all, in order to really get the look he needed, Majors adjusted his diet as well. He told Variety (opens in new tab) that meant he ate about 6,100 calories a day. He said he would eat six times a day, with his meals of choice being chicken or elk.
"I'm 6 feet tall. I'm 202 pounds," Majors said. "In order to sustain that and to grow that you have to eat as much protein that you weigh. I ate 6,100 calories a day for about four months."
6. He is a poet
In addition to being a skilled actor, Majors is also a poet, with plans to publish a book. In an interview with The Daily Mail (opens in new tab), Majors said that the book is going to be a collection of about 50 poems he has written from his senior year of high school to the present. He has passed down that love of poetry to his young daughter, Ella, saying she is memorizing some poems by Mary Oliver.
Jonathan Majors Fact File
How old is Jonathan Majors?
Jonathan Majors was born September 7, 1989, making him as of publication 33 years old.
Is Jonathan Majors married?
Jonathan Majors is not married.
Does Jonathan Majors have children?
Yes. He has a daughter, Ella.
Where was Jonathan Majors born?
Majors was born in Lompoc, Calif., though his mother eventually moved his family to Texas where he attended high school.
How tall is Jonathan Majors?
As Majors stated himself above, he is 6 feet tall.
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Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Peaky Blinders, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Saturday Night Live, Only Murders in the Building and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd (opens in new tab).