Jonathan Majors on Fight Sequences, His Method & What’s Next

Mar 3, 2023

When Michael B. Jordan’s directorial debut, Creed III, hits theaters on March 3, Adonis “Donnie” Creed will face his toughest match yet. Starring Jordan, Jonathan Majors, and Tessa Thompson, Donnie is now the undisputed heavyweight champion, and has not only made a name for himself with his career and retired, but has built a life with his wife, Bianca (Thompson). When an old friend, Majors’ Damian “Dame” Anderson, is released from prison, everything Donnie has hangs in the balance. Majors, who Collider’s Ross Bonaime describes as “one of the most intriguing antagonists in the history of this series,” has since become a household name after his appearance in the Disney+ series, Loki, which gave way to him being the MCU’s Phase 5 antagonist in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, as well as other notable roles in Lovecraft Country, The Harder They Fall, and Magazine Dreams.

In Creed III, Donnie and Bianca are now sharing a life together, raising their daughter Amara (Mila Davis-Kent), when Dame is released. With nothing else to his name, Dame holds his dreams of becoming a champion boxer even closer and manages to track Donnie down. As tensions simmer between the two, Dame struggles to accept that while his dreams were cut short by a prison sentence, Donnie went on to realize those very same goals. Now free, he’s determined to take that glory Donnie worked so hard for. Creed III also stars Phylicia Rashad, Wood Harris, Florian Munteanu, and José Benavidez.

Collider’s Steve Weintraub was able to speak with Jonathan Majors while promoting the film. During his interview, Majors discusses the growth he experiences with each film wrap and how he evolves from every set. He talks about the energy and technicality of filming a major fight sequence in the third act of Creed III, saying “the amount of energy…was uncanny,” and explains why no matter how many box office features he does his method and intensity never change. Majors also reveals when his next project with Academy Award-nominee Willem Dafoe begins filming. For all of this and more, check out the video in the player above, or you can read our full conversation below.

COLLIDER: What has it been like for you the last two or three years? Because you’ve been doing such great work on so many cool projects. Can you take that in?

JONATHAN MAJORS: No. [Laughs] I don’t think I have, I don’t know if I will, you know. There’s a part of me that just wants to constantly move and shift and grow. It’s kind of like when you grow the body, when you’re working out and training, you realize, you look over, and you’ve lifted this amount of weight and then one day you wake up in the mirror, and you look up, and your shoulders look different, your legs look different. You’re beginning to move differently.

I think I’m really gonna understand what has happened in January, February, March, April, and May when I get on my next set. You know? And I can feel the growth of everything I’ve done, just internally. The external is really great, and it’s a part of our business, and I thank God for it. It’s really fun to see, you know, but I can take more stock when I go, “Okay, so how is the instrument playing now?” You know, “How strong are we now?”

Image via MGM

Sure. I have to ask you, as a fan of your work, and also I’m just curious, what are you filming in May?

MAJORS: Me and Willem Dafoe are gonna go shoot this film called The Man in My Basement, which is really, really, really good. It’s a bit of – not a bit of – it’s a two-hander. He kind of comes in and… yeah.

I talk to Willem on Wednesday of this week, so I will be asking him about this.

MAJORS: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And his film just premiered at Berlin… is that where it was?

Yeah, Inside, that’s what I’m talking about. He’s fantastic.

MAJORS: I heard.

Image via MGM

Yeah, seeing the two of you together, I’m already beyond excited. But I want to switch back to Creed. I’m curious, what do you think would surprise fans to learn about filming a big action, fight sequence in the third act of this film?

MAJORS: It’s extremely technical, extremely technical. Well, [you] would probably imagine that. I guess probably the level of emotionality that’s happening in that space. I think it’s something people don’t think about. Well, I never thought about it, how electrifying the space is when you’re shooting those things. When the stakes are high in the movie, they’re also high on set, and so the amount of energy that’s pumping when we were shooting those scenes was uncanny.

It’s different from a film where you just have your hero, or just your villain, by themselves dealing with something. You’ve got both of these characters at the height, and it was extremely riveting, very riveting. And I don’t remember any of it. You know what I mean?

Image via United Artists Releasing

[Laughs] You have consistently delivered such fantastic performances over the last little bit. I’m curious, and I think we talked about this a little bit at Sundance, but how have you changed as an actor? Because you told me with The Harder They Fall, you just stayed in that zone while [during] COVID. Have you been able to relax a little bit when you’re on set now, or are you still as intense as you used to be?

MAJORS: Probably more so intense. Yeah, probably more so intense. It always depends on the role as far as intense, but there’s a certain frequency, and that has to do with my pedagogy and belief as an actor. You know, my Balinese troupe, they talk about this thing called Bantu Bantu. And Bantu Bantu is an energy that is about, when you step on the stage, when the Topeng dancer steps on the stage – which is the Balinese dance – the energy that they’re they’re trying to conjure is that the audience thinks they’re going to be eaten, you know what I mean? It’s almost like a wild animal is there. And so, in honoring that, you have to work at a certain level, or you can talk about the clown work. We try to get to a red zone before you enter into this space. All of that is still… It’s got to do with me, it’s just how I work, you know?

And yeah, there there are times in the in-between where… Here’s the thing, bro, I’m always kind of chilling. I’m always kind of chilling until it’s go-time, and then when it’s go-time you go. So it is important for me to relax, but you can only do the work properly in a relaxed state. So no, it’s always the same, you know, the same but different, if that’s helpful.

Creed III is in theaters on March 3. Check out our interview with Michael B. Jordan below.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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