Beyond ‘Lovecraft Country’: Jonathan Majors

Courtesy of HBO

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If you’ve watched HBO’s Lovecraft Country (if you haven’t, get on that), you surely know the name Jonathan Majors by now, as he takes on the role of Atticus Freeman. Though Majors was thrust into the spotlight with his role on Lovecraft, he’s no stranger to the film and TV game. Throughout his career, Majors has solidified himself as an actor to watch. In this article, we take a look at some of our other favorite roles from Majors.

Da 5 Bloods (2020)

Courtesy of Netflix and 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks

The film follows four friends and Vietnam war veterans as they return years later to search for the remains of their squad leader and a case of gold they found during battle. The story is told through their present-day journey, with flashbacks to their time in the war.

Joining the Bloods on their mission is Paul’s son David, played by Majors. After finding out about the mission, David travels to Vietnam, as he’s worried about his father. David adds an interesting dynamic to the group. He supports them, celebrates with them, and mourns with them, but he also recognizes that he isn’t fully one of them. His relationship with his father is complex. They love each other but also clash on many things. Majors and Delroy Lindo (Paul) work excellently together to craft the father-son duo, providing insight into their relationship.

Stream Da 5 Bloods now on Netflix.

Out of Blue (2019)

Courtesy of IFC Films

When astrophysicist Jennifer Rockwell is shot and killed, Detective Mike Hoolihan responds to the call. However, the investigation quickly affects her in major ways she struggles to understand.

Majors plays Duncan Reynolds, a university professor who was close to Jennifer. Early on, he’s brought in as a suspect, bringing a performance that makes his character seem a little ambiguous and leaves you questioning. Soon, though, he helps Mike unlock a few pieces in her investigation, his personality and motives made clearer. Majors brings an interesting character to life, one who quickly becomes likable and is clearly passionate about his work.

White Boy Rick (2018)

Courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment

Based on a true story, White Boy Rick follows Rick Wershe Jr., a teenager who became an FBI informant in the 1980s, eventually finding himself deeper into the drug game as he tried to work with both sides.

Majors portrays Johnny Curry, the man who heads a large drug operation. A majority of his time on screen, he’s a quietly powerful leader – unassuming but doesn’t let you forget who’s in charge, especially when provoked just enough. He’s also fiercely protective of his family. Majors does an excellent job portraying each of these facets of Johnny. His progression of emotions is never abrupt, but he’s able to create a clear distinction for each one. He carries himself like a leader, creating a believable performance.

The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019)

Courtesy of A24

The movie follows Jimmie (Jimmie Fails) and his best friend Mont (Majors), as they find an opportunity to reclaim the home that was built by Jimmie’s grandfather. The two subsequently find themselves on a journey to learn what “home” really means in a place where they’ve constantly been viewed as outsiders.

A major part of what makes this film noteworthy to me is the friendship between Mont and Jimmie; they complement each other well. Mont, more gentle in nature, cares about his friend and tries to support him the best way he knows how. He loses himself in writing and drawing, providing a contrast to Jimmie’s quest that’s grounded more in reality. However, Mont is also keenly aware and observant of the world around him. Majors clearly brings Mont’s characteristics to the screen, crafting an intriguing character.

The Last Black Man in San Francisco is available now on Amazon Prime Video.

Captive State (2019)

Courtesy of Focus Features

Nearly 10 years ago, humans and aliens made first contact. Now, the aliens (dubbed Legislators) have occupied Earth and more or less assumed control. The movie focuses on a Chicago neighborhood, following two sides: the insurgents and their resistance network who want to take back their home and those who continue to collaborate and comply with the Legislators.

On the side of the resistance is Rafe Drummond, played by Majors. Presumed dead but very much alive, Rafe is part of the remaining group of insurgents who continue to fight against the Legislators, no matter the cost. He has a powerful drive and determination for his brother Gabriel and humanity in general. Something particularly noteworthy about Majors’ performance is how he’s able to bring a great one with minimal dialogue. He brings a fitting intensity through his body language and the way he interacts with others, emphasized by the dialogue he does have. He showcases his ability to act in an action-heavy role.

When We Rise (2017)

Courtesy of ABC

Based on true events, this ABC mini-series chronicles the personal and political struggles of the LGBTQ+ community who helped champion the gay rights movement and liberation, starting with the Stonewall riots. It primarily follows Cleve Jones, Ken Jones (no relation), and Roma Guy, with each one bring their own unique perspective to the movement.

Ken Jones, the younger version portrayed by Majors, brings multiple aspects to the movement. As a gay Black man in the Navy, the facets of his life clash with each other in some way. He was also raised in a religious household that viewed gayness as a sin. Majors shines in the role, showcasing his ability to bring a powerful performance to the screen. He supports and adds to the emotion and heart of the series. He skillfully creates Ken’s arc from fear and self-doubt to passion and acceptance of himself. (Fun fact: the older version of Ken is played by Michael Kenneth Williams, who co-stars with Majors in Lovecraft Country.)

Majors’ next projects include an upcoming Netflix film titled The Harder They Fall, he’s reportedly set to take up a role in Ant-Man 3 (as reported by Deadline), and will also star in the upcoming film Devotion from Sony Pictures. Find the rest of his filmography on IMDb.

Julia

Written by

Julia is a writer/editor/content assistant for Nerds. She joined the team in 2019 but has always enjoyed talking about her favorite fandoms. Some her faves include Christian Bale, Bob's Burgers, Hannibal, Mr. Robot, Dexter, The Office, and Love, Victor. When she isn't writing or working, you can find her reading, watching her favorite shows and movies, and building her repertoire of Dad jokes. You can find her on Twitter at @jahooliaa

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