Exclusive: Jonathan Majors Talks Mentally & Getting Physically Fit For Hollywood

“You become the machine that’s made to break things.”

Jonathan majors in creed 3

Jonathan Majors is quickly becoming a household name thanks to his impressive acting chops (as well as his impressive physique). DMARGE had the chance to sit down and chat with him, in order to pick his brain about how he got ready for Creed III – both mentally and physically.

Releasing March 3 in Australian cinemas is Creed III, the latest film in the Rocky spinoff series that stars Michael B. Jordan as champion boxer Adonis Creed, the son of late boxing champion Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) and protégé of the legendary Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone).

Creed III features Adonis taking on his fiercest adversary yet in the form of Damian Anderson, a former boxing prodigy and childhood friend, who after serving a lengthy prison sentence sets his sights on dethroning Adonis of his championship belt while exorcising the anger, bitterness, and guilt from their shared past.

Playing the role of Damian Anderson is Jonathan Majors, a rising star who continues to make his mark on screens big and small, with acclaimed performances in the HBO series Lovecraft Country, the indie drama The Last Black Man in San Francisco, and recently as Kang the Conqueror in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantamania.

Obviously, playing the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s next big villain is no small task, but getting ridiculously buff (and mentally prepared) to face off against Adonis Creed? That’s another story…

WATCH the trailer for Creed III below.

Jonathan Majors’ Creed III workout regime

For Majors, taking on the role of a boxer opposite Michael B. Jordan in Creed III resulted in a physical transformation that began when Majors played the role of a bodybuilder in the upcoming film Magazine Dreams, in which he underwent an intense 12-week training schedule under the tutelage of British actor and body builder Mark “Rhino” Smith.

Majors brought that intensity and discipline to Creed III, where awaiting was a team consisting of boxing coach Rob Salle, stunt-man Clayton J. Barber, and trainer Corey Calliet, who pushed Majors beyond his limits to become a villainous boxer with an imposing look and confidence.

“Those were my guys,” Majors tells DMARGE. “Corey is built like a god, and Rob Salle is a Yoda, and Clay is probably the best stunt coordinator in the business, if not definitely one of them.”

“I was essentially having three workouts every day.”

Jonathan Majors

“Late night, it would be me and Corey in the garage working, building, trying to build the aesthetic. That’s how you build the house, which is actually a Mark Rhino phrase,” Majors explains.

Image credit: Ser Baffo© 2022 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. All Rights ReservedCREED is a trademark of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

“So, you build the house with the weights. Then with Rob, because we were doing so much roadwork, the jumping of the rope… That builds the shoulders; that chisels things. That starts pulling things out. And then there is a guy named Donny Sykes, who’s feeding me, who’s keeping me fed, and has pulled every ounce of salt and sugar out of my dieting, and that is also chiselling away.”

RELATED: The Brutal Reality Of Attempting Michael B. Jordan’s Workout For 30 Days Straight

The mental aspect of getting ‘Hollywood built’

The intense training also became a war of attrition in which Majors constantly found his mental state challenged by the ferocious workouts that transformed him into an on-screen monster:

“You begin to train in a deficit, so it becomes very mental, because your body is like ‘we should not be doing this. You don’t have any carbs in your body to be throwing these punches or lifting these weights’. Truth of the matter is you have enough to do so.”

Jonathan Majors

“So, the mental gets stronger, the body gets stronger, and you start cutting anything you don’t need. Any water you don’t need, any fat you don’t need, it kind of falls away and you become that machine that’s made to break things,” Majors says.

A machine made to break things. How very villainous.

Image credit: Eli Ade © 2023 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc.

“Something that kept coming to mind in Magazine Dreams and also came up in Creed III, was all of a sudden I’ll be working and feeling something; that pain will start coming in, that physicality and all that strength will start falling away, and the question will come to my brain, in a very small calm voice: ‘Are you dying?’ And I will say: ‘No. I’m not’. Ok, then, continue.”

“And that question, that check-in, of ‘are you at your limit? If you are at your limit, is this limit going to end your existence?’ No. It’s not. And then you push forward, and I watched that limit grow and grow and grow,” Majors explains.

“So now once you start asking that question you begin to live at a higher frequency, you begin to fight at a higher frequency, you begin to create art at a higher frequency because you transcended that physical, even mental, constraint.”

Jonathan Majors.

Creed III releases in Australian cinemas on March 3.