Jonathan Majors (born September 7, 1989) is an American actor. He rose to prominence after starring in the independent feature film The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019). He garnered wider notice for portraying Atticus Freeman in the HBO television series Lovecraft Country.
Majors was born in Lompoc, California, and spent his early years living with his family—his mother, a pastor, his older sister, Monica, and younger brother, Cameron—on the Vandenberg military base, due to his father being in the Air Force. Majors said in 2020 that, "Our father, who loved us dearly, just kind of disappeared one day ... and he resurfaced 17 years later." Majors has since reconnected with his father. The family soon moved to Dallas, Texas. Majors subsequently lived in Georgetown, Texas, outside of Austin, Texas, and later grew up in Cedar Hill, Texas.
As a teenager, Majors faced numerous struggles; he was arrested for shoplifting, suspended from high school for getting into a fight, and at one point he lived in his car while working two jobs to make ends meet. He eventually found a "safe space" in the world of theatre.
Majors studied for his bachelor's degree at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and later attended the Yale School of Drama; he graduated with an MFA in 2016.
2017–2018: Early work
Majors secured his first on screen role in the ABC miniseries When We Rise while still a student at Yale. In the series, Majors portrayed real-life gay activist Ken Jones; as part of his research for the role, he met with Jones before playing him.
That same year, Majors appeared in his first feature film role as Corporal Henry Woodson in the revisionist Western film Hostiles, written and directed by Scott Cooper. The film had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival on September 2, 2017. It was also screened at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 10, 2017. More roles followed, in the 2018 films White Boy Rick and Out of Blue. Both of these filmed screened at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, with the latter competing for the Platform Prize.
In 2019, Majors rose to prominence after starring in Joe Talbot's critically acclaimed independent feature film The Last Black Man in San Francisco, for which he received an Independent Spirit Award nomination. The film had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 26, 2019. It was released by A24 in the United States on June 7, 2019. Former President of the United States Barack Obama rated it as one of the best films of 2019. Majors' performance was praised by critics; Manohla Dargis of The New York Times called his performance "a mournful heartbreaker", while Rolling Stone described his turn as "both deeply sensitive and charmingly left-of-center".
Majors also appeared in three other 2019 film releases: Captive State, Gully, and Jungleland.
In 2020, Majors starred alongside Chadwick Boseman and Delroy Lindo in Spike Lee's war drama film Da 5 Bloods, which was released on Netflix. That year, he also garnered wider notice for portraying Atticus Freeman in the HBO television series Lovecraft Country. His performance in Lovecraft Country was favorably reviewed by critics. Vogue dubbed him "the emotional core of the show". In September, Majors was cast in the untitled Ant-Man and the Wasp sequel.
For his work in The Last Black Man in San Francisco, Majors received nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor and Outstanding Breakthrough Performance, Male at the 20th annual Black Reel Awards, and a nomination for Best Supporting Male at the 35th Independent Spirit Awards.
Majors has one child, a daughter. He supports the Black Lives Matter movement and attended rallies and protests following the death of George Floyd.
|2017||Hostiles||Corporal Henry Woodson|
|2018||White Boy Rick||Johnny "Lil Man" Curry|
|Out of Blue||Duncan J. Reynolds|
|2019||The Last Black Man in San Francisco||Montgomery Allen|
|Captive State||Rafe Drummond|
|2020||Da 5 Bloods||David|
|TBA||The Harder They Fall||Nat Love||Filming|
|2017||When We Rise||Young Ken Jones||4 episodes|
|2020||Lovecraft Country||Atticus Freeman||Series regular|