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Jonathan Majors: Actor, “The Last Black Man in San Francisco”

Jonathan Majors is an American actor whose meteoric rise has taken him from theater stages to the silver screen and beyond.

Jonathan Majors

Early Life and Education

  • Born in Santa Barbara County, California, in 1989, Majors spent his childhood amidst a blend of military life (his father was in the Air Force) and civilian community moves due to financial instability.
  • His family eventually settled in the Dallas area, where Majors faced the challenges of growing up in a tough neighborhood, witnessing drug dealings and violence firsthand.
  • Despite these hardships, Majors discovered his passion for acting early on, finding solace and a sense of self-expression in theater productions throughout his school years.


  • Majors’ academic path began at Cedar Hill High School, where he found further grounding in theater and honed his performance skills.
  • Graduating in 2008, he pursued higher education at West Virginia University, majoring in Communications. While the choice seemingly diverged from acting, it provided valuable skills in storytelling and public speaking that have translated seamlessly to his career.
  • His dedication to acting remained undimmed, and after graduating from West Virginia in 2012, Majors took a bold step: he auditioned for and was accepted into the prestigious Yale School of Drama.
  • At Yale, Majors immersed himself in a rigorous training program, mastering classical and contemporary acting techniques under the guidance of renowned instructors. He emerged in 2016 with an MFA, fully equipped to tackle the professional world of theater and film.

Career Breakthrough: "The Last Black Man in San Francisco"

The year 2019 marked a pivotal turning point in Jonathan Majors’ career, with his transcendent performance in “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” catapulting him from promising newcomer to a celebrated star. Let’s delve into the film’s significance and how it cemented Majors’ status as a talent to watch:

The Film’s Significance:

  • Directed by Joe Talbot and co-written by Jimmie Fails, whose true-life experiences inspired the story, “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” is a poignant and poetic exploration of gentrification, displacement, and the enduring power of home.
  • It tells the story of Jimmie (played by Fails), a black man struggling to reclaim his family’s Victorian home in San Francisco, a city rapidly changing around him. Majors portrays Montgomery Allen, Jimmie’s best friend and confidante, a complex and layered character grappling with his own demons.
  • The film was met with critical acclaim, capturing numerous awards and nominations, including an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Majors’ Best Male Lead performance.

Majors’ Performance:

  • Majors’ portrayal of Montgomery is widely hailed as the film’s beating heart. He brings depth and nuance to the character, capturing his loyalty, vulnerability, and simmering rage with raw authenticity.
  • His ability to convey emotion with subtle gestures and expressions, coupled with his captivating screen presence, draws viewers into Montgomery’s inner world.
  • Critics praised his chemistry with Fails, their on-screen friendship showcasing a profound tenderness and genuine bromance.

Major Roles: A Look at His Notable Characters

Jonathan Majors has quickly amassed a diverse and fascinating filmography, portraying characters that showcase his depth and range as an actor. Here’s a closer look at some of his major roles:

Montgomery Allen (“The Last Black Man in San Francisco”): As mentioned previously, Majors’ portrayal of Montgomery in this 2019 film became a defining moment in his career. Playing Jimmie’s confidante and navigating complex issues of friendship, loyalty, and personal struggles, Majors delivered a nuanced and deeply affecting performance.

Atticus Freeman (“Lovecraft Country”): In this 2020 HBO miniseries, Majors tackled the role of Atticus, a young black man facing the horrors of racism and supernatural threats in 1950s America. His journey of discovery and resilience in the face of unimaginable dangers showcased his ability to handle emotional weight and action sequences with equal brilliance.

Jesse Brown (“Devotion”): Taking on the true story of Ensign Jesse Brown, the first African American naval aviator, Majors delivered a powerful performance in this 2022 war drama. He captured Brown’s determination and the challenges he faced amidst racial prejudice, highlighting the fight for equality amidst the backdrop of war.

Damian Anderson (“Creed III”): Stepping into the boxing ring, Majors took on the role of antagonist Damian Anderson in the 2023 film “Creed III.” Playing Adonis Creed’s childhood friend turned rival, Majors showcased his physical intensity and dramatic range, creating a compelling and complex villain.

Victor Timely/He Who Remains (“Loki”): Entering the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Majors portrayed two distinct characters in the Disney+ series “Loki.” As Victor Timely, a seemingly harmless businessman in the post-apocalypse, and He Who Remains, the enigmatic mastermind behind the TVA, Majors displayed his ability to switch between charming charisma and a chilling presence.

Jonathan Majors' Acting Style: A Unique Approach

Jonathan Majors’ approach to acting is as captivating as it is complex, marked by a unique blend of powerful presence, emotional depth, and meticulous preparation. Here’s a closer look at some key elements that define his distinctive style:

Intensity and Rawness:

  • Majors has a natural intensity that draws audiences into his performances. He can convey a wide range of emotions, from simmering rage to tender vulnerability, with raw authenticity.
  • His physicality plays a crucial role, often using subtle gestures and controlled movements to express inner turmoil and emotional nuances.
  • Examples include his portrayal of Montgomery in “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” and Atticus in “Lovecraft Country,” where his simmering intensity builds alongside the characters’ struggles.

Psychological Depth and Nuance:

  • Majors goes beyond portraying emotions; he delves into the complex psychology of his characters. He navigates their contradictions, flaws, and vulnerabilities with empathy and understanding.
  • His ability to portray characters grappling with internal struggles creates a sense of depth and realism, drawing viewers into their inner worlds.
  • This is evident in his portrayal of Jesse Brown in “Devotion,” where he reveals Brown’s determination alongside his internal conflicts and anxieties.

Method Acting and Immersion:

  • Majors reportedly employs method acting techniques to fully immerse himself in his characters. He invests significant time and effort in research and preparation, understanding the historical context, motivations, and mannerisms of those he portrays.
  • This commitment to authenticity elevates his performances, granting them an undeniable truthfulness.
  • However, his use of method acting has also generated some controversy, with some questioning its impact on his interactions with cast and crew.

Upcoming Projects and Future Endeavors

  • “Magazine Dreams” (2023): Scheduled for release on December 8th, 2023, this drama film stars Majors as an amateur bodybuilder navigating the cutthroat world of bodybuilding. The project garnered significant buzz at Sundance and could further solidify his dramatic range.
  • “Dune: Part Two” (2023): Set for release in November 2023, Majors joins the star-studded cast of this sci-fi epic as the formidable Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen, adding another layer to his diverse filmography.
  • Untitled David O. Russell Film (2024): Majors joins a powerhouse cast featuring Margot Robbie, Christian Bale, and John David Washington in this currently untitled project directed by the acclaimed David O. Russell.

Potential Future Endeavors:

  • Marvel Cinematic Universe: Despite recent legal challenges, speculation remains high about Majors’ future as Kang the Conqueror in the MCU. With “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” setting the stage for his potential dominance, further appearances across various MCU projects seem likely.
  • Theater Productions: Given his strong theatrical background and past critical acclaim on stage, Majors may return to his theatrical roots to challenge himself in diverse live performances.
  • Producing and Directing: With a keen eye for storytelling and artistic development, Majors may venture into producing and directing, bringing his unique vision to life both on and off screen.

Awards and Nominations


  • National Society of Arts and Letters (NSAL) National Drama Competition Award (2012)


  • Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male (2020) for “The Last Black Man in San Francisco”
  • Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture (2020) for “Da 5 Bloods”
  • Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2021) for “Lovecraft Country”
  • Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (2021) for “Lovecraft Country”
  • NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture (2022) for “The Harder They Fall”
  • NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture (2023) for “Devotion”
  • Critics Choice Super Award for Best Actor in an Action Movie (2022) for “The Harder They Fall”
  • Critics Choice Super Award for Best Villain in a Series (2022) for “Loki”
  • Critics Choice Super Award for Best Actor in a Horror Series (2021) for “Lovecraft Country”

The sheer number and variety of nominations, spanning leading and supporting roles in film and television, highlight Majors’ versatility and talent. While he hasn’t yet snagged a major award, the nominations themselves speak volumes about his potential and the industry’s recognition of his rising star status.

Looking ahead, with captivating performances in upcoming projects like “Dune: Part Two” and “Magazine Dreams,” it’s likely that Majors will add to his accolades list and potentially bring home prestigious awards in the near future. His dedication to his craft and the depth he brings to his characters suggest a promising future filled with critical acclaim and audience admiration.

Inspirations and Influences

Jonathan Majors’ unique approach to acting draws from a rich tapestry of inspiration and influences, shaping his powerful presence and nuanced performances. Here’s a closer look at some key figures and elements that have fueled his artistic journey:

Theater and Classical Training:

  • Majors’ roots lie in the theater, where he honed his craft through rigorous training at prestigious institutions like Yale School of Drama. This foundation in classical acting techniques instilled in him a deep understanding of character building, physical expression, and vocal control.
  • The discipline and dedication required for stage performances continue to influence his screen presence, evident in his captivating focus and powerful stage presence even in film roles.

Actors and Performances:

  • Majors cites Denzel Washington as a major inspiration, particularly his ability to convey powerful emotions with subtle gestures and expressions. Other acting greats like Chadwick Boseman, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Al Pacino are also mentioned as influences, highlighting his appreciation for versatility, dedication, and commitment to character transformation.
  • Specific performances, like Daniel Kaluuya’s in “Get Out” and Joaquin Phoenix’s in “Joker,” have also impressed Majors, suggesting his interest in exploring complex characters grappling with internal struggles and societal pressures.

Social Impact: Advocacy and Philanthropy


  • Racial Justice and Representation: Majors is a vocal advocate for racial justice and equality, using his platform to speak out against racism and discrimination. He actively participates in social justice movements and encourages responsible storytelling that empowers marginalized communities and challenges oppressive narratives.
  • Mental Health Awareness: Following his legal challenges in 2023, Majors opened up about his struggles with mental health, particularly anxiety and depression. This vulnerable act brought mental health awareness to the forefront, encouraging open conversations and destigmatizing seeking help.
  • Community Outreach: Majors actively engages with diverse communities, particularly the arts community, through mentorship programs and workshops. He uses his experiences to inspire and empower aspiring actors and filmmakers, especially young people from underserved communities.


  • Supporting Arts Education: Majors supports organizations that provide access to arts education for underprivileged youth. He believes in the transformative power of the arts and advocates for increased funding and resources for arts programs in schools and communities.
  • Social justice and Community Development: Majors contributes to organizations working towards social justice causes, such as combatting racial injustice, supporting LGBTQ+ rights, and addressing homelessness. He actively participates in fundraising events and initiatives that benefit these communities.
  • Global Initiatives: Majors shows interest in global issues like poverty and environmental justice. He uses his platform to raise awareness about these issues and encourage support for international organizations working towards positive change.


Jonathan Majors’ story is still unfolding, but his impact is undeniable. He is not just a captivating actor; he is a voice for change, an inspiration to young artists, and a force to be reckoned with in the world of cinema. The future holds immense possibilities for him, and the world waits with anticipation to witness his next captivating performance and his continued evolution as an artist and advocate.

This is just a glimpse into the multifaceted Jonathan Majors. If you have any further questions or specific areas you’d like to explore, I’m happy to delve deeper and offer a more nuanced understanding of this remarkable artist.


34 years old (born September 7, 1989).

Lompoc, California, USA.

His first screen role was in the ABC miniseries “When We Rise” in 2017.

His roles in “The Last Black Man in San Francisco,” “Lovecraft Country,” “Devotion,” and “Creed III” have gained him widespread recognition.

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