These 8 Facts About "Creed III"'s Jonathan Majors Are Majorly Interesting
Ever since Jonathan Majors landed his breakout role on ABC's 2017 drama miniseries "When We Rise," the actor's career has taken off in a major way. Majors appeared in "White Boy Rick," "The Last Black Man in San Francisco," "Da 5 Bloods," among other films before he hit a TV career-high starring as Atticus Freeman in HBO's "Lovecraft Country. His star has only risen higher since, landing the role of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's newest supervillain, Kang, in 2021, a potentially Oscar-worthy lead role in 2023's "Magazine Dreams," and a major part in the latest "Creed" film, "Creed III."
Majors's personal life is just as fascinating as his meteoric rise to fame, and these facts about the actor will make you see him in a whole new light. Read ahead to learn more about one of 2023's biggest stars.
He Grew Up on a Military Base
As a kid, Majors grew up with his two siblings on the Vandenberg military base near Lompoc, CA, as his father was in the Air Force. However, his mother moved him and his siblings to Dallas, TX, after his father left the family. "Our father, who loved us dearly, just kind of disappeared one day . . . and he resurfaced 17 years later," Majors explained to The Hollywood Reporter in November 2019.
Following the death of George Floyd and the start of the Black Lives Matter movement, Majors was able to reconnect with his father. "I hadn't spoken to him in about two years, but I spoke to him this morning briefly. He said he saw the same protests in the '60s, then in the '90s with Rodney King, and now again," Majors told People in June 2020, noting that the protest movement brought them closer together.
His Mom Is a Pastor
In Dallas, TX, Majors's mother pursued a master's degree in divinity, eventually becoming a pastor. Thanks to his mom, spirituality is a big part of his life. And though he's never considered becoming a pastor himself, the lessons his mother taught him have stuck with him. "That type of service and work ethic and scholarship is something I adopted and made my own," Majors told Elle in August 2020, referring to his mom's hard work. "I'm not a pastor. I'm not a man of the cloth, but I have my own calling."
He Discovered His Love for Acting at Age 14
After getting into a fight at school in Dallas at age 14, Majors was enrolled "in an alternative education program," and it is there that he first discovered his love of performing. "We were reading Agatha Christie and I just got into it," he recalled to The Last Magazine in June 2019. "I grew up reading the Bible all the time and I would compare the King James version and other versions and be like, 'Oh, I like this version better.' I just loved reading and I have an active imagination and liked acting out the scene."
He Landed His First Role While Attending the Yale School of Drama
Following high school, Majors attended the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA), where he got his Bachelor of Fine Arts. After graduating in 2012, he enrolled at the Yale School of Drama, and during his final semester, he landed his first major role: young Ken Jones on ABC's "When We Rise." "My final semester at Yale, I was picked by Gus Van Sant to play one of the leads in the miniseries he and Dustin Lance Black were collaborating on," he explained to Backstage in December 2019. "I did my final semester of [school] work in a trailer in Vancouver on set with Gus Van Sant."
When He Auditioned for "The Last Black Man in San Francisco," He Couldn't Afford a Hotel Room
Majors flew to California to audition for his role in 2019's "The Last Black Man in San Francisco." Though he'd planned on staying in a hotel room, he discovered too late that he didn't have enough money in his bank account to cover the cost. "I was so broke, I couldn't pay for a hotel that I thought I could pay for," he told Variety during a November 2019 interview. "I'm like, f*ck it, I'll just walk around San Francisco at night running lines. [But] my new manager called them and somehow convinces these guys to let me stay and give me a room, puts her credit card down. And so I go in [for the audition] and there's nothing but love."
He Was Handpicked by Spike Lee to Star in "Da 5 Bloods"
Rather than auditioning for his role in "Da 5 Bloods," Spike Lee sought Majors out directly to play his character David. "No audition. Just, 'Spike wants to meet you,'" Majors told Interview Magazine in June 2020. "I'm living in Harlem at the time. I said, 'Spike Lee wants to meet me? Okay. Sure.'" After arranging a meeting with the director and seeing "some stuff he was working on," Majors was all but handed the role. "And then we step outside, and it's on," he added. "[Spike] says, 'This is who you're playing. Do you have a passport? Read this book.'"
He Has a Daughter
After graduating from UNCSA and before attending the Yale School of Drama, Majors had a daughter, who is currently seven years old. During his June 2020 interview with People, Majors said that his priority is giving his daughter a proper education on Black history. "She has to understand that it's actually not 'Black history' — it's American history," he said. "The way it's taught now, it's honestly the Jim Crow system of separate but equal. We'll give it one month, 12 pages in the history book . . . we'll talk about Harriet Tubman, Rosa Park, MLK, then we'll give you a little quiz about it. And that's it."
For Majors, it's also important for his daughter to celebrate her Blackness. During a June 2020 interview with W Magazine, the actor recalled a conversation he had with his daughter, who was frustrated "because her hair won't fall down — her hair goes up." In response, he told her, "You have a crown. That's why your hair goes up. Your hair, your crown, came from daddy, came from his mama, came from his father, came from his sister. Sometimes that crown can get you in trouble in this world, and it's not right. And some people want to take that crown from you."
There's a Reason He Carries Little Cups Around With Him
The reason you'll often see Majors carrying a little cup around with him at events is really sweet. During a February 2023 appearance on "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert," the actor revealed he's been carrying the cups with him since he left his mother's house when he was 18. "She was so terrified of the circus that I had joined — showbiz and the circus," he explained. "She was very clear about safety. 'No drinking, no drugs, no sex,' every time I left the house . . . This has happened my entire life. But the drinking was a thing, and she'd always say, 'Baby, watch your cup. Watch your glass.' And I always kept that in mind, for safety, but also what that meant."
Since Majors's mother didn't give him an actual physical cup, he got his own and has four in rotation. "It means . . . You are a vessel. Nobody can fill you up, nobody can pour you out — you do that yourself," he shared.